Commonwealth Games: Intelligence-led doping probe 'removed cheats before they arrived'

Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games finish on 15 April
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with extra streams on Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online. Times and channels

Commonwealth Games organisers say an intelligence-led doping investigation "removed cheats before they arrived" on the Gold Coast.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Asada) says a government-led taskforce prevented three Australian athletes from competing at the Games.

Asada also discovered "less than 20" doping cheats from other nations.

However, the anti-doping body confirmed no positive tests had been recorded at the Games so far.

"We've seen the scandals over the last 18 months, which is why it was important that we delivered a programme that removes cheats before they arrived at the Games," said Asada chief David Sharpe.

"If you don't, clean athletes might not have their chance to stand on the podium and hear their national anthem."

Sharpe said he was not able to name the three Australian athletes caught cheating, but that the Australian government had conducted tests on 2,600 local athletes and 500 from overseas.

He added that the intelligence-led approach was a far more efficient way of combating cheating than blanket testing.

But Commonwealth Games Federation chief David Grevemberg said that despite the encouraging results, there was no room for complacency in the battle against doping.

"This is not a quick fix," he added. "This is the most robust that we have been in preparation for a Games but we need now to continue that fight outside Games time, whether that is creating more deterrents or taking more preventative measures to ultimately alter behaviour and let cheats know there is not place for them at the Commonwealth Games."

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