UK chief calls for more money in fight against doping

A technician holds blood samples for testing in an anti-doping laboratory

The head of United Kingdom Anti-Doping has called on sports to increase their financial contribution to the global fight to rid their events of drugs cheats.

UKAD receive some £5 million ($6.2 million, 5.9 million euros) annually from the British government and raise a further £2-3 million themselves, in part through sports paying for additional testing.

But UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said she would like her organisation's budget to double on an annual basis and believes sports bodies, particularly those enriched by lucrative broadcast deals, could do more to finance anti-doping.

“WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) come under fire but they are doing their very best," Sapstead told Thursday's London Evening Standard.

"Look at their budget (£24m a year) and that’s pretty woeful, too. Look at the anti-doping organisations whether national or WADA trying to do something quite sizeable. You have to wonder what happens when someone says ‘Let’s take this seriously’."

She added: “Sports need to start paying, whether it’s education or whether it’s a contribution towards their testing programme.

"I do not think it’s acceptable when sports are bringing in money from ticket sales, TV rights and sponsors and are not contributing to the greater insurance and integrity of their sport."

According to the Standard, UKAD have spent over 1,000 man hours in an investigation into the contents of a 'jiffy bag' sent to Dr Richard Freeman at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race in France amid suggestions it could have contained a banned substance given to British cycling great Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins and Team Sky, for whom the Londoner was riding at the time, both deny any wrongdoing, saying the package contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil.

Sapstead was not prepared to put a price on the ongoing investigation and said questions of cost would have no bearing on how UKAD went about its work.

"I'll never cut a corner based on the fact it's taking up time and resources," she told the Standard. "I want to be able to say we've left no stone unturned.

"If it takes another three months, it takes another three months."