An inquiry has been ordered into the UK Anti-Doping watchdog after reports a doctor prescribed banned drugs to 150 sportsmen. An investigation by The Sunday Times reports that a British doctor charged sports stars, including Premier League footballers, thousands of pounds for performance-enhancing drug programmes.

The inquiry will focus on the taxpayer-funded UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) watchdog, which was apparently given evidence about the doctor's doping activities two years ago, but failed to take any action to stop him.

The culture secretary, John Whittingdale, has ordered an inquiry Sky News reports. Mr Whittingdale said: "I am shocked and deeply concerned by these allegations. Sports fans are entitled to be sure that what they are watching is true and fair with all athletes competing on a level playing field.

"Once again, I am grateful to the excellent investigative journalism by the Sunday Times for bringing these apparent abuses to light. I have asked for there to be an urgent independent investigation into what action was taken when these allegations were first received and what more needs to be done to ensure that British sport remains clean.

"There is no room for complacency in the fight against doping and the Government is already looking at whether existing legislation in this area goes far enough. If it becomes clear that stronger criminal sanctions are needed then we will not hesitate to act."