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VIDEO: Probe finds widespread drug use in Australian sports

Thursday 7 Feb 2013 2:14 p.m.

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Australian sport is in freefall after revelations of widespread use of banned drugs and links to organised crime.

The Australian Crime Commission has today revealed the findings of a year-long operation called “Project Aperio” claiming links to organised crime and use of banned substances  - namely peptides, hormones and illegal drugs.

The two major sporting codes caught up in the turmoil at present are Australian Rules and Rugby League.

Justice Minister Jason Clare spoke at a press conference today  saying the findings are "shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans". 

"Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having used peptides." 

AFL chief Andrew Demetriou says the findings have come as a bit of a shock.

"We've always had a very thorough and very rigorous testing regime," he told the Australian Associated Press.

"When you start to think about the sophistication of drugs and how the scientists are ahead of the testers [...] then you do have to rely on intelligence gathering. We've done everything we can but we can do more." 

Australia’s Sports Minister Kate Lundy says the government was looking to further tighten sanctions brought down on drug cheats and unlawful behaviours in sport.

"If you want to dope and cheat, we will catch you. If you want to fix a match, we will catch you. 

"As you can see by the investigations that have taken place, we are well on the way to seeking out and hunting down those who will dope and cheat."

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency will now have more budget, resources and power to investigate and bring down drug cheats.

Today’s findings claim drug use in these sports is more widespread than drug testing programmes had previously indicated.

They claim members within sporting agencies have, in some way, administered or condoned the use of these drugs.

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