Doping May Be Made A Crime In New Sport Strategy

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Doping could be criminalised as part of Government attempts to crack down on corruption in sport.

Speaking to Sky News, sports minister Tracey Crouch said the measure would be considered as part of a new strategy that will promote sporting integrity.

The MP explained: “We actually have very strong anti-doping procedures in place, and that’s what makes the UK Anti-Doping Agency one of the best in the world.

“But we have to look at criminalisation to see whether or not that’s something we can add to the toolbox of combating corruption in sport.”

The Government is also transforming the way it funds grassroots sport following the failure of the London 2012 Olympics to deliver its promised legacy of a sustained increase in participation.

After a year that has seen corruption and doping scandals engulf FIFA and the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, the Government wants the UK to become a “world leader” in promoting sports integrity, with the Prime Minister to prioritise the issue at an anti-corruption summit he is hosting next year.

All sports governing bodies will have to sign up to an integrity code that will be “rigorously enforced at home and set a new standard internationally”, Mr Cameron has said.

He added: “We will stand up for the integrity of the sports we love. We should be proud of the role that British journalists have played in lifting the veil on corruption and poor governance at the heart of some of the biggest international sports.”

Revamped plans to tackle the failed Olympic legacy are also being unveiled, with the existing priority of promoting regular sports participation and funding elite medallists to be replaced by a broader criteria which places less emphasis on promoting physical activity.

In an echo of Mr Cameron’s “Big Society” initiative, funding will go to organisations which can satisfy some, or all, of five criteria: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development, and economic development.

The new policy is intended to allow organisations beyond the traditional sporting landscape, such as charities and community organisations, to gain access to sports funding.

It is hoped the plans will also target groups who are consistently less active, including women, the elderly, those from lower-income groups, and the disabled.

There is no new public money to accompany the proposals, but Ms Crouch has secured a commitment from the Premier League to double the amount it contributes to grassroots football from its new broadcast deal, which could be worth £8bn over three years.

 

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