Damning drug report fuels anger in Australia

Fri Feb 8, 2013 6:46am EST
 

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian sports administrators responded angrily to a government report saying doping was widespread among professional and amateur athletes and demanded investigators name offenders to protect clean athletes' reputations.

The report released on Thursday, the result of a year-long probe by Australia's top criminal intelligence unit, said players and teams from several sports codes were implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but withheld names for legal reasons.

Wayne Bennett, a revered coach in Australia's National Rugby League competition, called the report's findings a "tragedy" that had tarnished all elite Australian athletes.

"The game is not at fault here - it's the agencies who started it all yesterday and went so public," the Newcastle Knights coach told reporters on Friday.

"I don't believe sport has ever been as clean as it is now across all our codes.

"The game doesn't tolerate it and most coaches and most clubs don't either.

"Part of my beef with this is that if we've got the drug problem we have, what's the drug agency been doing?

"We pay them a lot of money to come into our sport and we've made a lot of compromises for them to come into our sport.   Continued...