International Athletics

Australia joins 'substance-checker' alliance

2016-04-27 08:26
Maria Sharapova (AFP)

Sydney - Australia on Wednesday hooked up with Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States in an international alliance allowing athletes to check whether a medication is prohibited in sport and narrow the chances of them breaching doping rules.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) joined Global DRO, a database allowing athletes to check their medication online simply by entering the product brand name.

It also allows athletes training or competing overseas to see the status of any drugs purchased, rather than having to check each ingredient in a medication individually.

"The collaboration between so many esteemed anti-doping agencies to develop and expand this tool is proof that the fight against doping is a global one," said ASADA chief Ben McDevitt.

"That athletes can not only check substances purchased at home, but also those in Canada, the US, the UK and Japan will be invaluable for our elite athletes that train and compete on the international stage," he added.

The initiative was established by the US, Canada and Britain in 2009 with Japan joining in 2013.

It has since dealt with 2.5 million inquiries, with 654 000 searches conducted in 2015 alone.

The sports world has been blighted by several high-profile scandals in recent months, particularly in Russia after a World Anti-Doping Authority independent commission report found evidence of state-sponsored doping.

Earlier this year, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, tested positive at the Australian Open for meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's ban list on January 1.

Sharapova claimed she did not check to see what changes were made to the banned list for 2016.

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