UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has remarked the government would be open to the criminalization of doping. Crouch’s remarks are in collusion course with UK Anti-Doping, the country’s anti-doping agency, which is opposed to such measures.

Crouch remarked we actually have very strong anti-doping procedures in place, and that is what makes the UK anti-doping agency one of the best in the world. The sports minister added but now we have to look at criminalization to see whether or not that’s something we can add to the toolbox of combating corruption in sport.

Sports lawyer James Pheasant, of Burges Salmon, remarked any effort to criminalize doping would have to be done in association with the U.K. anti-doping agency, which currently administers all testing in areas it oversees. Pheasant added there is no reason, in principle, why U.K. Anti-Doping could not co-operate and provide information to organizations, so criminal charges could be brought.

The U.K. anti-doping agency remarked it had no interest in criminalizing doping as of now as adequate preventative measures are already in place. Nicole Sapstead, U.K. Anti-Doping chief executive, said we feel the current rules, set out in both the World Anti-Doping Code and the U.K. National Anti-Doping Policy, are proportionate. Sapstead added U.K. anti-doping is open to dialogue around new ways of protecting sport, but our focus remains on tackling the supply chain and the source of the problem through strong working relationships with a wide range of law-enforcement partners, and a comprehensive anti-doping education program.

A few days back, an 18-year-old U.K. semi-professional cyclist, admitted to having used Erythropoietin. Gabriel Evans admitted he used EPO, the banned blood-boosting drug that is used in the treatment of anemia.

This year, the world of athletics has been rocked by repeated doping scandals, the biggest of which resulted in indefinite suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world athletics’ governing body.

Last month, the former IAAF President Lamine Diack was accused of money laundering and accepting bribes to hide doping cases. Diack recently told French investigators that £1 million of Russian money was given for financing the campaign of Macky Sall against incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, in return to conceal positive doping tests.

This claim by Diack has taken the athletics’ doping crisis to a completely different level by suggesting that the leadership campaign of Senegal was funded with dirty money. French newspaper Le Monde disclosed that Lamine allegedly told French investigators that this was required at this time to win the’ battle of Dakar’, that is to say, overthrow the government in power in his country and this required financing the movement of young people in order to campaign. Diack is also believed to have told investigators that the money was required to rent vehicles, meeting rooms, and to produce leaflets. Diack also alleged that Valentin Balakhnichev, former president of the Russian Athletics Federation, was part of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team and there were problems of Russian athletes suspended for the world championships in Russia at that time and we agreed to help and Russia supported us.

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