Criminals Infiltrate 25% of Sport, Anti-Doping Chief Says

A quarter of all sport played globally is infiltrated by criminals, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency told reporters today in London.

“The people who are distributing and making a lot of money out of steroids -- not necessarily at elite level but even at kids’ levels -- are the same bad guys who are match-fixing and involved with bribery,” David Howman said in an interview at the Securing Sport conference hosted by the Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security.

Howman said the 25 percent figure is based on information from law enforcement authorities. WADA was founded in 1999 as an independent agency funded by governments and the International Olympic Committee to monitor the World Anti-Doping Code.

A 2013 Australian report detailing use of banned drugs in elite sports facilitated by organized crime highlighted the need for a global agency to fight bribery and match-fixing in sport as well as doping, he said.

The Australian Crime Commission’s report identified the use of substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs across a number of sports in a nation that had a reputation for having a predominantly drug-free sporting culture.

“The WADA model is very successful, because you’ve got governments and sports partnering,” Howman said. “You need that same partnership to combat other aspects of integrity.”

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