London - Sniffer dogs and a 50 percent increase in tests are
among the wide-ranging new measures to be used in UK Anti-Doping's war on drug
UKAD has been given an additional $8.7 million by the British
government over the next two years, boosting its annual budget to $19 million.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of its strategic plan
for 2018-22, UKAD chair Trevor Pearce said the extra money had enabled the
agency to hire around 10 new staff and set a target of 6 000 publicly-funded
tests a year by 2022.
These extra tests, he said, would provide a greater
deterrent, allow UKAD to test sports it has previously not had the resources to
cover, go further down the pyramid and produce more data for its eight-strong
intelligence and investigations unit.
But with fewer than one in 50 tests coming up positive - a
rate most experts believe does not reflect the true prevalence of doping - UKAD
knows testing is only part of the answer, which is where its "innovations
commission" comes in.
"We are looking at innovative disruptive activities
that could range from somebody in a UKAD jacket at an event, as an obvious
deterrent, to using sniffer dogs to detect money or doping products,"
"If we were allowed access there's no reason why those
sorts of tactics couldn't be applied to those seeking to track
performance-enhancing substances into events or facilities.
"If athletes know they will be at an event it may have
an effect. We are now exploring this with the (National Crime Agency)."
UKAD's director of operations Pat Myhill said the use of
dogs is only one of 32 "disruptive techniques" his team has come up