Three agencies yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to help smash the supply chain for banned performance-enhancing drugs in Britain.
The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have agreed to share information about the distribution networks that place banned products in the hands of Britain’s drug cheats.
And in what looks set to be a concerted effort to strike at the criminal heart of the problem, the UK Border Agency is expected to sign up to the agreement in the near future.
Created in December, UKAD is the national body responsible for the implementation and management of the UK’s anti-doping policy. It currently has a department of seven involved in intelligence-gathering and will use information provided by the other agencies to help expose the criminal networks engaged in the trafficking.
"What we have seen in cricket over the last few days shows that sport can't exist on its own and can't address every single aspect of cheating within sport without the influence of public authorities," Andy Parkinson, the UKAD chief executive told the Daily Telegraph.
"We now have two great partners who can help us do that across all sports.
"We know that there is criminality involved in the supply of performance-enhancing substances but we don't know to what extent.
"We don't know necessarily where it is, but what this memorandum allows us to do now is to start interrogating some of the intelligence that our law enforcement partners have and start looking at how it is impacting on sport and athletes in the UK and take the necessary action.
"It's going to be an interesting foray into what doping is like in this country."