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Cycling athletes found to be the worst offenders for doping in the Olympics

Jul 06 2012 Comments 0

Cycling athletes have been found to be the worst offenders for doping in the Olympics, after the UK Anti-Doping laboratory released figures on drug testing for 26 of the sports that will feature at London 2012.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has released data on drug testing and positive test results for 26 sports that will feature in the summer Olympics, finding that cycling athletes have the worst record on average.

The statistics have been compiled by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and include the number of samples tested in each sport for every year between 2003 and 2010, as well as the number of tests therein that indicate the use of a prohibited substance, The Guardian has reported.

There has been a significant increase in the number of samples taken across all sports in the past ten years. Anti-doping has taken on a leading role in major competitions, with laboratories this year expected to be working around the clock to provide accurate analysis on urine and blood samples.

Between 2003 and 2008 the number of samples taken from all sports has gone from just over 100,000 to 166,185. The figure fell slightly in the past two years, but kept above 160,000. With the 2012 London Olympic games on the horizon, it is likely that the number will be bolstered once again.

According to the statistics, of the 26 sports included in the 2012 Games, the worst offender in terms of the rate of findings per sample (averaged across all eight years) is cycling, with 3.71 per cent testing positive for banned substances. Boxers came in with the second highest rate, with 3.05 per cent of samples found positive among the athletes.

Badminton had the lowest rate of usage-indication findings per sample, at 0.87 per cent. Footballers were the athletes tested the most in terms of the total number of samples (30,398), followed by athletics (25,013), cycling (21,427) and aquatics (13,138).

Posted by Fiona Griffiths

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