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Former police officer to lead anti-doping agency

May 9, 2014

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has appointed an ex-federal police officer to head its anti-doping agency amid ongoing investigations into the links between organized crime and drugs in sports.

Sports Minister Peter Dutton on Friday announced the appointment of Ben McDevitt, who has held high-ranking positions in the federal police and the Australian Crime Commission over a 28-year career in law enforcement, as chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

ASADA is still considering whether individual Australian rules or rugby league players should be charged after a year-long investigation into the use of banned substances in the supplement programs of some clubs in the top national leagues.

Some coaches and clubs have already been sanctioned, with the Australian Football League fining Essendon $2 million dollars and suspending its senior coach, and the National Rugby League fining Cronulla $1 million and suspending its head coach.

“This is about careers hanging in the balance ... I will bring a sense of urgency but I will not sacrifice certainty for speed,” McDevitt told a news conference. “ASADA’s reason for being is to protect Australia’s sporting integrity and the health of Australia’s athletes ... we have to jealously guard our reputation for fair play.”

McDevitt replaces Aurora Andruska, who announced her retirement last month.

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