|Probe finds drug use common in Australian pro sport
Widespread drug use in Australian professional sport and links with organized crime has been found by an investigation of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the report of the probe revealed on Thursday.
This 12-month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport and the relationship between professional sporting bodies, prohibited substances and organized crime said the links may have resulted in match-fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets, Xinhua news agency reports.
It has identified organized criminal networks which have been involved in distributing the drugs to athletes and support staff, including doctors and coaches. In at least one case, an entire team is believed to have been doped.
According to the investigation, the use of banned substances, including peptides, hormones, and illicit drugs, is widespread among professional athletes.
"The ACC has found that professional sport in Australia is highly vulnerable to infiltration by organized crime. Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having used peptides," Justice Minister Jason Clare said in a statement.
Sports Minister Kate Lundy said the government was moving to introduce tough measures to crack down on the use of banned drugs and unethical behavior in sport.
Lundy has introduced legislation this week to strengthen the investigative powers of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and double its investigative resources. The ASADA and other regulatory agencies will undertake more investigations on the basis of the findings.