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Pre-Games international athlete testing initiative announced

UK Anti-Doping is now testing international athletes arriving to train, compete or stay in the United Kingdom.

Athletes will be tested without notice, in the same way as UK athletes, as part of the organisation’s pre-Games period anti-doping programme. It is believed that this is the first intelligence led pre-Games programme of its kind.

UK Anti-Doping has contacted international federations and national anti-doping organisations from across the world to co-ordinate activity and to share information to ensure that testing is targeted. Intelligence led means that information gathered from a variety of sources, including the analysis of doping risks in each sport and the testing windows for specific substances and methods will be used to inform activities.

This latest initiative complements the UK’s ‘Win Clean: Say No to Doping’ campaign launched in September 2011 aimed at educating those international athletes looking to compete at London and to remind them of their anti-doping rights and responsibilities.

Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said: “We are doing all we can to ensure that there is no place to hide for drug cheats in this country. Information sharing across borders and a strong testing programme will help in this fight in the run up to London 2012 and beyond.”

WADA Director General David Howman said: “This is a positive step towards achieving a clean Games and I would like to thank UK Anti-Doping for this initiative which reinforces our message to anti-doping organisations worldwide.”

International Olympic Committee Medical Director Patrick Schamasch added: “This shows the real will to harmonise during this important pre-Games period. Working together will help all of us to work for the best of sport and a clean Games.”

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson: “For the past 12 months, UK Anti-Doping has been sending a strong message to national and international athletes likely to compete at London 2012; a message that the UK has one of the most advanced anti-doping systems in the world and that we will do all we can to protect clean athletes. 

“We have established a number of strong links with global partners and we can now use these to share information and pool resources. We are able to test any athlete on UK soil and we are utilising this right, to help realise the UK’s ambition that London 2012 is the cleanest Games ever.”

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