March 20, 2017 / 2:08 PM / 5 months ago

UKAD alarmed by drug use in British amateur sport

Cyclists compete at an amateur race meet in south London May 5, 2012.Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Drug use in amateur sport in Britain is 'fast becoming a crisis', UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said on Monday in response to a BBC poll that revealed widespread use of performance enhancing substances at grassroot levels.

Some 35 percent of the 1,025 adult men and women members of amateur sports clubs, teams and gyms who were polled said they personally knew someone who had doped, and eight percent had taken steroids.

Half felt the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) was widespread among those who played competitive sport and 49 percent thought drugs were easily available.

The online poll was carried out by ComRes between Jan 27-31, 2017.

"The figures as regards the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances at an amateur level are incredibly alarming," UKAD chief Nicole Sapstead told the BBC.

"I don't think any sport can say that they don't have a problem at an amateur level."

Sapstead said UKAD needed greater powers and extra cash from individual sports governing bodies to "address what is fast becoming a crisis for sport".

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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