Three Australian athletes banned from Games after drug probe

Three Australians were among a number athletes banned from competing at the Commonwealth Games, drug testers have revealed.

File image: ASADA CEO David Sharpe

File image: ASADA CEO David Sharpe Source: AAP

An "intelligence-led" doping probe has prevented three Australians and an undisclosed number of other athletes from competing at the Commonwealth Games but no positive tests have been recorded on the Gold Coast to date, organisers said on Thursday.

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) chief David Sharpe said a preventative task force funded to the tune of millions of dollars by the Australian government had conducted tests on 2,600 local athletes and 500 from overseas.


Mr Sharpe said he was not able to name the three Australian athletes caught cheating by the task force and said the number of athletes from other countries was "less than 20".

"We've seen the scandals over the last 18 months, which is why it was important that we delivered a programme that removes cheats before they arrived at the Games," Mr Sharpe told a news conference.

"If you don't, clean athletes might not have their chance to stand on the podium and hear their national anthem."

Organisers would not disclose the number of tests that were being conducted on the 6,000 athletes at the Games but Mr Sharpe did confirm that there had been no adverse analytical findings.

"I can confirm there have been no positive tests to this date," he said.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) will follow the lead of the Olympics movement by retaining samples for future testing for the first time in the Gold Coast, said Dr Mani Jegathesan of the Commonwealth Games Medical Commission.

Mr Sharpe, a former police officer, said the intelligence-led approach was a far more efficient way of combating cheating than blanket testing.

"For mine, if we do less tests that are better intelligence-led, we get better results," he added.

2 min read
Published 12 April 2018 at 5:20pm
Source: Reuters, SBS