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Aussie athletes go high on dope

The number of Australian athletes testing positive to drugs is at record highs with 42 failing dope tests in the past year, new figures showed on Wednesday.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2011 00:23 IST

The number of Australian athletes testing positive to drugs is at record highs with 42 failing dope tests in the past year, new figures showed on Wednesday.

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) chief executive Aurora Andruska said the high number of violations in 2010-11 reflected a spike in positive tests for the prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine.

Methylhexaneamine can appear as a dietary supplement and in products such as energy drinks.

Andruska said athletes were cautioned about the risks associated with energy drinks and supplements, and many heeded the warning. "The outcome for Australian sport could have been much worse, but I'm pleased to say that our warning to athletes immediately curtailed this disturbing trend," she said.

"We must remain vigilant as there are still athletes testing positive for this stimulant around the world, so we want to remind athletes to be very careful about what they consume."

Ten of the violations were in bodybuilding, while there were seven each in cycling and rugby league, three in athletics and two each in Australian Rules, baseball and powerlifting.

Gridiron, handball, hockey, kayaking, futsal, amateur rugby union, surf lifesaving, water polo and wheelchair rugby all recorded one positive test.

Methylhexaneamine accounted for 19 cases with 13 attributed to anabolic agents such as testosterone, and five to cannabis. Human growth hormone and masking agents were also involved.

ASADA, established in 2006, conducted 7,090 tests on Aussie athletes during the year, both at home and overseas.