Drugs in sport: Criminal link unlikely

Organised crime reportedly has a foothold in Australian sport but do its evil tentacles extend to New Zealand?

The shady side of Australian sport was uncovered this week by the Australian Crime Commission's report which found evidence of systematic doping and some links to organised crime.

If there is a link between organised crime and New Zealand sport, no-one in the academic community is shining a light on it.

Professor Steve Jackson, of the school of physical education at the University of Otago, said New Zealand's body of academic work in the area was very limited.

''It certainly isn't a focus of researchers in New Zealand,'' Prof Jackson said.

''There is so little money in New Zealand sport that it is hard to imagine it would be a huge target for organised crime.

''We shouldn't assume because it is happening in Australia that it is happening here. Again, the market is smaller and it should be easier to identify with four million people versus 20 million people.''