By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
August 9 - Britain's recently launched independent anti-doping agency are hailing the two-year suspension of cyclist Dan Staite (pictured) as evidence that their new method of targetting athletes they suspect of cheating based on intelligence received from outside sources is working.
Staite, a 36-year-old former member of Cycles Dauphin Racing Team, was banned after testing positive for the blood-boosting agent Erythropoietin (EPO).
The urine sample collected at the Roy Thame Cup road race in March also showed the presence of an aromatase inhibitor, which is used in cancer treatment.
Staite was targetted following corroboration and research by UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) intelligence unit, they have revealed.
UKAD chief executive Andy Parkinson, said: "This decision clearly points to an athlete who chose to cheat his way to achieving his sporting aims.
"As a result of effective collaboration with other partners and our analysis of intelligence from external sources we executed a testing strategy that resulted in a cheating athlete being banned from sport.
"Our only disappointment in this case is that the panel did not extend the ban to four years."
Earlier this year UKAD teamed-up with Crimestoppers to launch a telephone hotline for athletes, their support staff and members of the public to report suspicions about anyone using or supplying performance-enhancing drugs.
Bob Howden, the chairman of British Cycling's Anti-Doping Commission, said: "We are naturally disappointed that a cyclist has been found guilty of doping; however, this case shows that the comprehensive testing programme that operates at all levels of the sport is delivering results.
"We have a no-tolerance policy towards doping and we are committed to working closely with UK Anti-Doping to eradicate the use of performance enhancing substances from our sport.
"Mr Staite’s example is a warning to all athletes, both amateur and professional, that cheats will be caught and that cycling must be, and must be seen to be, a drug-free sport."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
June 2010: Hot line launched to catch drugs cheats before London 2012