LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers should consider making doping in sport a criminal offense, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday, after a series of scandals that have raised the issue’s profile high on the political agenda.
Asked during his weekly question session in parliament what more could be done to tackle doping, Cameron said sport would be among topics discussed at an anti-corruption summit due to be held in Britain in May.
“We are going to be looking at corruption in sport and bringing forward new codes of practice that we will adopt in this country, we hope others will adopt,” he said.
“There is also the question about whether doping should be made a specific criminal offense which I think is something we should be looking at and debating in this house.”
Other European countries, such as Spain and Italy, have already made doping a criminal offense and Germany extended its anti-doping law last November to include coaches and managers.
Kenya, at the heart of a series of scandals in recent months, is also in the process of criminalizing doping.
But most countries, including Britain, still leave anti-doping control to individual sports’ governing bodies and anti-doping agencies, with punishments limited to bans and reclaiming prize money.
This month the UK government ordered an inquiry into the way Britain’s anti-doping agency handled allegations that a British doctor prescribed banned performance-enhancing drugs to leading sports people.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Louise Ireland