An initiative entitled “Project Energia”, aimed at combating the trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs, has been established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Interpol.
The project will focus on substances which aim to improve physical fitness and athletic performance, such as anabolic steroids, growth hormones, peptides and erythropoietin.
It will be carried out through targeted criminal analysis, according to Interpol, who have been working with WADA in the fight against doping in sport since 2009.
Project Energia will also be supported by the School of Criminal Science at the University of Lausanne (UNIL).
Countries are not forced to partner with the voluntary scheme, but only nations that request to take part in the project may have access to the analysis provided.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli believes the initiative will “contribute significantly to protecting clean sport”.
“The Energia project is a key component in the global fight against doping,” he said.
“By joining forces, WADA and Interpol are better able to share intelligence on trafficking methods and on those who manufacture and distribute dangerous substances to athletes seeking an edge.
“In gaining such intelligence, we are better able to support efforts to cut off the supply of performance enhancing drugs at the source, before they manage to get into the hands of athletes.
“Along with the behavioural research stemming from the University of Lausanne, we are confident that the project will contribute significantly to protecting clean sport.”
WADA director general Olivier Niggli has heralded the project as crucial in tackling doping in sport ©Getty Images
Intelligence on the supply and demand for performance-enhancing drugs which are seized by country’s participating in Project Energia will be collated and analysed as part of the project.
Analytical reports concerning the information and evidence will then be produced to help limit the flow of banned substances.
A key aim of the project will be to “seek to identify criminal networks”, while other targets include “fostering the exchange of information between law enforcement services” and “help uncover connections between trafficking in performance-enhancing drugs, pharmaceutical products and narcotics”.
It is hoped the scheme will also uncover criminal enterprises which operate within sport.
“The use of doping substances to artificially and illegally boost performance is no longer solely associated with elite athletes, as the internet has made products such as anabolic steroids available to mass consumers,” Roraima Andriani, director of Interpol’s organised and emerging crime programme, said.
“The market is ‘low risk, high profit’ and therefore attractive to organised crime groups worldwide.
“Often manufactured clandestinely with no health regulations, performance-enhancing drugs pose serious health risks to users.
“We therefore welcome this co-operation agreement with WADA and UNIL which will help the fight against doping in sport.”