(Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s sports ministry to crack down on the manufacture and supply of performance-enhancing drugs in the country.
WADA has long branded China the world’s top producer and exporter of PEDs, which are openly sold on Chinese websites and often shipped by regular mail to countries around the world.
WADA and Interpol will exchange information with China’s law enforcement agencies to target and dismantle producers and help countries catch drug cheats among their athletes, WADA said in a statement.
“There is tremendous potential in sharing information and investigating the trafficking of doping substances — with organizations that have the power to reduce and eliminate the illegal manufacture and supply of PEDs and raw materials that result in PEDs — in a country that faces a problem with the illegal sale and exportation of banned substances,” WADA Director General David Howman said.
The project team will include officials from Chinese police, customs, Food and Drug Administration and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency, the statement added.
Earlier this month, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration arrested more than 90 people and seized hundreds of kilograms of raw steroid powder and thousands of liters in liquid form in a major synthetic drug bust across multiple U.S. states.
The DEA said “the vast majority” was made and trafficked by underground labs in China.
Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Greg Stutchbury