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SBD Global/October 17, 2012/Olympics

Australia's Olympic Chief Wants Sweeping Anti-Doping Powers

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates wants the country's anti-doping body "to be given sweeping powers to force witnesses to give evidence in its fight against drug use in sport," according to Alastair Himmer of REUTERS. Coates said, "The government should again consider strengthening [national anti-doping agency] ASADA's powers to investigate allegations of doping practices." Coates added ASADA should have "the power to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence and to produce documents relevant to such investigations." Coates' call came as ASADA announced closer working ties with the Australian Crime Commission to "clamp down on the doping cheats with greater speed and efficiency" (REUTERS, 10/16). The AAP reported Coates said that he "had been pushing for greater powers for investigators to obtain evidence" since before the 2000 Sydney Olympics and "repeated them" when ASADA took over its role in '05. The AOC said, ''AOC experience is that without the power to compel the giving of oral and documentary evidence, many allegations of ADRV's [anti-doping rule violations] cannot be properly investigated and prosecuted'' (AAP, 10/17).
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