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Aussie athletes on drugs watch list

Aussie athletes on drugs watch list

Wed July 11, 2012 12:00am

AUSTRALIAN Customs, doping agencies and federal police have been monitoring thousands of our top athletes, including our entire London Olympic team, in a bid to snare drug cheats.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates has revealed all local anti-doping authorities have the names and addresses of every member of the Olympic team as well as those additional contenders nominated on the so-called shadow team.

Their reach spreads across all the professional football codes, with clubs duty-bound to inform the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) of their players' whereabouts.

Mr Coates, one of three Australian members on the International Olympic Committee, said no one could guarantee London's Games would be clean.

"But there is now great co-operation between government agencies and the sporting testing agencies," he said.

"Here, Customs has a list of players from the football codes and our shadow (Olympic) team and they marry that up with imports of drugs that come from overseas.

"The federal police can get involved. They can go and watch who picks up the package from the post office, things like that."

Mr Coates said every medallist in London would be tested.

"There will also be out-of-competition testing on sports where it's more likely to be a problem. It's the strength and the endurance athletes who will be mainly targeted," Mr Coates said.

"There is more testing and better education of athletes about the dangers.

"There are 10,500 athletes and they'll do over 5000 tests during the Games. The other initiative is we now hold the samples for eight years so we can go back and re-test if a new test procedure is validated.

"After the 2008 Games, a new test was found for a drug called Cera which was a blood enhancer. That went back to the IOC which looked at sports where it might have been used and got five positives, including the 1500m track winner.

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