<
>

Anti-doping officials eye manufacturers

LONDON -- The World Anti-Doping Agency wants to target
manufacturers and distributors of illegal substances as well as the
athletes taking them.

"We know that mere collection of urine and blood samples is not
going to end the fight against doping in sport," WADA director
general David Howman said Tuesday.

WADA and UK Sport organized the two-day meeting in London to
find anti-doping methods beyond sample collection and analysis.

They said targeting large-scale manufacturers and distributors
requires cooperation by government and law enforcement agencies,
who were represented at the symposium.

Howman praised Operation Gear Grinder, in which the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration in 2005 shut down eight companies
illegally producing anabolic steroids in Mexico. The DEA has since
been working with WADA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Howman
said.

The symposium also discussed the ongoing Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative investigation in the United States and Operation
Puerto in Spain, which involved authorities going after suppliers
of steroids and growth hormones.

"What we are very keen to do is learn from others, and the
practical experience that we saw from the DEA was an absolute
revelation," said John Scott, director of drug-free sport for UK
Sport, the national anti-doping organization for Britain.

In Operation Gear Grinder, the DEA used the Internet to track
the illegal businesses and their sales, and the Internet most
likely will play a large role in any new initiative, WADA said.

"It is regrettable that sport has to take the lead in these
things ... but sometimes sport is what makes society shift,"
Howman said.

A WADA group will be formed to set guidelines for executing the
plans.

"I think that what came out of the seminar is that the vast
majority of countries are very much at the beginning of this,"
Scott said.