Source AP ©

Britain plans to establish anti-doping agency

Britain is planning to set up an independent anti-doping agency before the 2012 Olympics, focusing on targeting dealers of the drugs.

The British government said Wednesday the body would be established before London hosts the 2012 Olympics. Drug-testing of British athletes is currently the responsibility of UK Sport, the organization which controls public funding to sports.

"In the same way drug cheats are constantly finding new ways to beat the system, we have to constantly look at what we do to catch them," Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said. "We have to ensure they have no place to hide and these new powers, implemented by an independent agency, will help us do that."

The recommendation comes after a six-month review by UK Sport over its approach toward anti-doping.

A key responsibility of the new agency will be to work with law enforcement agencies to fight the trafficking and supply of prohibited substances.

The agency will also decide whether an athlete has committed a doping offense and have the authority to present cases to a disciplinary panel.

Sutcliffe said more details would be released next year.

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