Cricket clean, Australian chiefs say

James Sutherland

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland today said there was nothing in a damning government report into doping that linked the sport to drugs, saying he was shocked by the findings.

A year-long Australian Crime Commission probe concluded that drug use was widespread across multiple Australian sporting codes, with growing links to organised crime.

Sutherland said sports bodies and the government must work together urgently on developing a national approach to integrity in sport.

"There was no specific evidence or links suggested to Australian cricket, which has a record of proactive management on issues such as anti-doping, illicit drugs, anti-corruption and bans on cricketers and cricket employees betting on cricket," he said.

"But no sport can afford anything other than constant vigilance.

"Sport is an important part of the Australian way of life and fans rightly have high expectations of Australian sports' integrity."

Cricket has not been immune to doping, with Pakistan pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failing drugs tests in 2006.

Sutherland said Cricket Australia was committed to working to eradicate the scourge of doping and would immediately review its systems and controls.

The investigation identified common use in professional Australian sport of prohibited substances including peptides - a type of stimulant -- hormones and illicit drugs.

It said criminal networks were increasingly involved in the distribution of illegal substances.

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