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IAAF to Increase Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing


The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says it will increase testing and funding in a bid to detect and stem the use of new performance-enhancing substances.

The IAAF will increase its anti-doping task force by five people, which was established following the Athens Olympics earlier this year. Track and field's world governing body will also boost cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The 2005 Athletics World Championships next year in Helsinki, Finland will feature the strictest anti-doping measures to date. About 2000 athletes are expected in Helsinki, where every fourth competitor will be tested, about 100 more than at the previous World Championships in Paris in 2003.

On Saturday, the IAAF Council overwhelmingly chose Berlin to host the 2009 World Championships.

Meanwhile, British distance runner and marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe wants drug cheats treated and punished as criminals.

Radcliffe, who won the New York marathon last month, said more needs to be done to rid athletics of the "suspicions and innuendoes" which greet any fast time. On her official web site Sunday, the 30-year-old said, "Doping in sport is a criminal offense and should be treated as such."

She also said doping "not only cheats other athletes but also cheats promoters, sponsors and the general public. Being caught in possession of a performance-enhancing drugs should carry a penalty."

Radcliffe's comments come days after former Olympic and world 100-meter champion Marion Jones was accused of taking drugs before the Sydney Olympics.

Victor Conte, the founder of the BALCO lab that allegedly provided steroids and other banned drugs to elite athletes, told an American television program that he gave Jones performance-enhancing drugs and watched as she injected herself with human growth hormone.

Some information for this story provided by AP.

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