By Tom Degun

Carl Fletcher_throwingDecember 17 - UK Anti-Doping chief executive, Andy Parkinson, has claimed that prosecuting Carl Fletcher in the organisation's first ever drug trafficking violation was a major landmark for his team.

Fletcher, a British shot putter, was last month given a four-year anti-doping suspension and sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for drug offences, including supplying 16 types of Class C substances.

His offence involved the supply of a number of anabolic steroids, including testosterone, human growth hormone and trenbolone, all of which are banned under the World Anti-Doping (WADA) Code.

He was given a nine-month prison sentence and banned from participation in sport until November 7, 2015.

"This case was certainly a major landmark for UK Anti-Doping and a real breakthrough for us because we are actually cutting doping off at the source," Parkinson told insidethegames.

"It was brilliant for us because we had our intelligence unit working closely with Merseyside Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) throughout this operation and there was great cooperation between all of us to help bring about the UK's first trafficking violation.

"There is no way that we could have done this without working so closely together.

"This case proves the invaluable role that law enforcement agencies have in the fight against doping in sport and demonstrates that our intelligence system is working effectively.

"But the key for us is that by attacking the supply chain and those that supply performance enhancing substances, we stand a better chance of protecting the right of the clean athletes to compete in doping-free sport."

Fletcher, who competes for Woodford Green with Essex Ladies, finished third at this year's UK Indoor Championships.

He set personal a personal best of 18.70 metres last year, improving by almost two metres in the space of two years, a performance ranked him fourth in the UK in 2010 and put him at 20th on the UK all-time list.

Parkinson revealed that vital information had come through on the case via the UK Anti-Doping confidential hotline.

"This case also shows the importance of the hotline and how crucial the information we get from that is," he said.

"We would like more people to know about it and to use it but it is obviously about quality of information rather than quality.

"But I still urge people to come forward with any information on doping, no matter how insignificant they might feel it is.

"The smallest amount of information could be the missing link that enables us to take action and protect sport from those who want to cheat."

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