CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- The Australian government will consider sporting sanctions against national sporting federations whose athletes continually avoid doping tests.
The Australian Sports Drug Agency, which is conducting random out-of-competition doping tests on athletes of all nationalities leading up to the Sydney Olympics has admitted some athletes evaded testing by failing to give accurate contact details.
Athletes had evaded tests simply by not answering their telephones or relocating to remote areas, The Australian newspaper reported Tuesday.
Australia's sports minister Jackie Kelly said the government planned to "close the loophole" by imposing sanctions on serial evaders.
Drug agency chief executive Natalie Howson has called for a tougher approach, saying a recent investigation had uncovered the "very real problem."
Howson said a solution would be for all sports to adopt a system imposed by FINA, the international swimming federation, which provides for four-year bans for swimmers who cannot be contacted three consecutive times for doping tests.
"We don't have any problems getting in touch with swimmers," Howson said.