February 29 - UK Anti-Doping has today announced details of its most comprehensive anti-doping education and drug testing programme ever in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
More than 100 education sessions are planned alongside an intensive testing programme, which will be carried out on British athletes hoping to compete in London 2012.
It is expected every single athlete selected for Team GB and ParalympicsGB will be tested at least once in the run-up to the Games.
The programme is being run in partnership with the National Governing Bodies of Sport, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA).
"As the host nation at this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to lead the way in promoting clean sport, giving the British public the confidence that the performances they see from our athletes are achieved through four years of hard work, determination and dedication," said UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson.
"Working closely with sports, the BOA and BPA, we are currently delivering a comprehensive education programme for all those athletes and support personnel heading to the Games this summer to ensure that the British teams can be proud of their performances as clean athletes."
The majority of tests will be attempted through no-advance notice, out-of-competition tests, either at squad training sessions or through whereabouts information provided by athletes, with additional tests targeted at key 2012 selection events.
Both urine and blood testing will be used.
"Tests will be planned using our intelligence-based testing approach which utilises intelligence gathered from a wide range of sources and focuses the allocation of tests around where they will have maximum impact in terms of deterrence and detection" continued Parkinson.
"Whilst the overall aim is to test every member of the British teams at least once, obviously those in more high-risk sports or disciplines, or athletes of interest to us will be tested more often.
"Essentially, there is no limit to the number of times we might test any individual athlete."
Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson (pictured left) has welcomed the announcement as an important step in the fight against drug cheats.
"UK Anti-Doping has led the way in educating athletes and has one of the most robust anti-doping programmes in the world," said Robertson.
"But we can't be complacent.
"We need to ensure that athletes and support staff are fully aware of their responsibilities with regards to anti-doping.
"Drug cheats have absolutely no place in sport.
"We want our athletes to be positive role models for the millions who will be watching the Games this summer."
Both the BOA and the BPA have also claimed they are delighted to be running the programme in partnership with UK Anti-Doping and the National Governing Bodies of Sport.
"We are fully committed to doing our outmost to make sure that all athletes wearing the Team GB vest this summer are clean athletes," said BOA chief executive Andy Hunt.
"We are therefore pleased that every British athlete competing at the London 2012 Olympics will have been tested by UK Anti-Doping at least once in the run-up to the Games.
"Other countries should strive to this standard – we want the Olympics to be as clean as they possibly can be."
BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth added: "The BPA fully supports UK Anti-Doping's anti-doping programme of education and testing, and is totally behind the ambition for a clean British team at the Paralympic Games."
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