McCaffery Accepts IOC Invitation

McCaffery Accepts IOC Invitation
Posted by FoM on November 16, 1999 at 15:30:16 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: New York Times
U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey has accepted an offer to discuss the International Olympic Committee's new antidoping agency with IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch. 
Samaranch invited McCaffrey for talks after the White House's chief drug adviser said the new World Anti-Doping Agency was too closely linked to the IOC. The agency is run by IOC vice president Dick Pound and is temporarily based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the headquarters of the IOC. ``We accept the invitation of president Samaranch to begin a dialogue,'' McCaffrey said today. ``We are cautiously optimistic that real progress can be achieved. We welcome the IOC's offer to commence this process and will begin the planning for these talks immediately.'' The IOC insisted Monday that its new drug agency would operate independently and that the United States was misguided in fearing a conflict of interest. ``It looks to us as though it will be dominated by the IOC,'' McCaffrey said on the opening day of an international ``Drugs in Sports'' summit in Sydney. ``That, to us, is unacceptable.'' That concern led summit delegates today to set up an international steering committee to ensure their voices are heard as WADA is further developed. ``Its about steering WADA in the right direction,'' said summit chairwoman Amanda Vanstone, Australia's justice and customs minister. Don Vereen Jr., deputy director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the committee would go ``a long way'' toward satisfying U.S. misgivings about WADA. ``This does it. It's a process. You're seeing it right here and we're very happy to be a part of it,'' Vereen said. ``That is precisely what needs to happen.'' Earlier, IOC vice president Kevan Gosper defended the agency before delegates from 26 nations attending the three-day summit, saying, ``Contrary to some public criticism, its structure ensures that it is truly independent.'' Gosper told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio: ``I think that the United States has not really kept fully in touch with developments that have taken place.'' McCaffrey also was criticized by Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the IOC medical commission. ``Instead of insulting people, it is better to sit around the table and discuss,'' de Merode said in Brussels. ``The reaction is hysterical and not constructive.'' John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, was angered by McCaffrey's criticism of the new drug agency. He called McCaffrey ``no friend of the Olympic movement'' and tried to have him banned from Sydney's 2000 Olympics complex. McCaffrey is promoting a program for another kind of independent drug agency that would conduct year-round, no-notice testing for athletes. Delegates are discussing the role they can play in the fight against drugs in sports. Among the topics to be discussed are international cooperation, testing regimens, drug trafficking and education. ``Our conversations with the IOC will be guided by the principles that we have helped forge with our international allies,'' McCaffrey said today. ``We will continue to work with the international community to ensure that the WADA that ultimately emerges is independent and effective in protecting the clean athletes of the world and the integrity of international sport.'' Later today, WADA signed bilateral agreements with 13 nations, committing them to increase out-of-competition testing for performance-enhancing drugs and share research. A statement of intent was signed between Australia and Canada, China, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, all delegates at the three-day summit. The countries pledged to ``work with the Australian Sports Drug Agency to ensure athletes are subjected to drug testing through mutually beneficial antidoping arrangements.'' Published: November 16, 1999Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company Related Articles:IOC Drug Chief Chides `Hysterical' Reaction - 11/15/99 Begin Discussing Anti-Doping Initiative-11/15/99 2000 To Ban U.S. Anti-Drugs Czar -Paper - 11/14/99
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: