Drugs in Sport: UK Sport unveils plan for testers to track athletes

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The Independent Online

UK Sport has unveiled a new hard-line anti-doping policy which forces Britain's sporting elite to account for their whereabouts five times a week.

Under the new National Anti-Doping Policy, Britain's leading athletes must inform UK Sport where they will be for one particular hour on five days out of every seven.

The "whereabouts system" has been designed to help UK Sport increase the amount of out-of-competition testing, the prime deterrent against doping.

Under the robust proposals, which brings the UK into line with the World Anti-Doping Code, failure to appear within the nominated hour will result in a "missed test" - unless there are "exceptional circumstances".

And three of those missed tests will result in a ban.

"It is the athletes' responsibility to make sure information is up to date," John Scott, the head of UK Sport's Drug-Free Sport, said. ÒIf it isn't it is a missed test ÿ only in exceptional circumstances will being unavailable not count as missed."

All sports which receive funding from UK Sport or the sports councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must follow the new policy: "Compliance is now a condition of funding and participation in UK Sport's anti-doping program. Therefore, funding sanctions and/or withdrawal from the program can be imposed on governing bodies which do not fall into line."