Former policeman David Sharpe has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), it has been announced.
He will replace another ex-policeman, Ben McDevitt, who left as head of ASADA in May after taking over the organisation during controversial drug scandals involing Australian Football League teams Essendon and Cronulla.
Currently the Australian Federal Police (AFP) assistant commissioner, Sharpe is due to take up the new role next month after Australia's Sports Minister Greg Hunt appointed him.
During his 30-year career with the AFP, Sharpe tackled organised crime and terrorism, as well as overseeing security at Parliament House.
Among the crime busting operations he was involved in was cracking international methamphetamine and cocaine syndicates.
The Australian Crime Commission and sports integrity experts believe the same groups which import illicit drugs are involved in the supply of performance enhancing drugs.
Sharpe was also formerly a first-grade player for the Canberra Raiders in the National Rugby League.
He later returned to the Raiders as general manager of football operations while on secondment from the AFP.
Sharpe will leave the AFP to take up his new post, initially on a five-year contract.
Ensuring that next year's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast is clean will be among Sharpe's first priorities.
A comprehensive drug testing programme, including storing sample for re-analysis, was announced by ASADA, Gold Coast 2018 and the Commonwealth Games Federation yesterday.
"As we get closer to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, we all want to see athletes do well and achieve their potential but we also want to continue to be confident that all competition is clean and fair," Hunt said.
"Mr Sharpe brings the qualities and expertise required to steer ASADA’s ongoing work to protect the integrity of sport and the health of Australian athletes."
Sharpe's appointment coincides with former Australian Supreme Court judge James Wood begining a review into the integrity of Australian sport in the run-up to Gold Coast 2018.
The review terms of reference include "the capability of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and Australia’s sport sector to address contemporary doping threats."