Ukad appoints intelligence review lead

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Ex-Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward has been appointed by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (Ukad) board to lead an independent review into its handling of intelligence.

The review comes after the Sunday Times claimed London-based doctor Mark Bonar prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to more than 150 British athletes, including Premier League footballers.

Ward retired from police service in January and has experience of serious organised crime, counter-terrorism and the use of intelligence.

According to the Sunday Times, an athlete who was banned for breaching anti-doping rules in 2014 approached Ukad with evidence alleging Bonar had prescribed him performance-enhancing drugs.

Ukad says it began an investigation into Bonar but decided he was outside of its jurisdiction as he was not governed by a sport.

It also decided not to pass the case to the General Medical Council or to contact the doctor.

“Andy Ward is a strong choice to carry out the review,” said Ukad chair David Kenworthy. “He is independent of sport so will bring a fresh and uninfluenced perspective, whilst his extensive experience of intelligence handling will be critical to the review.

“Andy’s role will be to examine how the information supplied by the sportsperson was handled and whether proper procedures were followed. Andy will also be asked to make any recommendations to improve processes in the future.

“As a publicly funded body, it is correct that Ukad be held to account for any actions it takes and the team is very supportive of, and will fully co-operate with, the review process.”

There is no suggestion any Premier League clubs were aware of any alleged wrongdoing, and the Sunday Times says it has no independent evidence Bonar treated the players.

Bonar told the newspaper he treated the athletes for medical reasons and not to enhance their performance. There is no suggestion the substances were illegal.

Athletes contacted by the newspaper either denied Bonar had treated them or declined to comment.

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