IOC Mulls Drug Policy!

IOC Mulls Drug Policy!
Posted by FoM on January 31, 1999 at 11:21:25 PT

 The International Olympic Committee turns its attention this week to drugs and their use to enhance performances in international and Olympic competition.
While the subject is different from the bribery scandal in the area of site selection of the recent past, it is no easier to solve. Dick Schultz, the executive director of the United States Olympic Committee, thinks it's far too ambitious to think a standard, across-the-board drug policy will come out of the summit in Lausanne, Switzerland.Schultz expects delegates will be hit with a barrage of proposals, indicating the IOC is a long way from a meeting of the minds on a universal drug policy or a universal list of banned substances.A case in point concerns Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati. After winning a gold medal almost a year ago in Nagano, Japan, Rebagliati tested positive for Marijuana.However, he was allowed to keep his gold medal because skiing's international federation had not listed Marijuana as a banned substance.Schultz pointed out that even today, Marijuana isn't banned across the board among Olympic sports. Even though the IOC promised swift action after Nagano, there isn't agreement that it's a performance-enhancing substance.However, a delegation from the White House will be in Lausanne to petition the IOC for an across-the-board listing of marijuana as a banned substance. The people in Washington want help in their battle against Marijuana, considered the most widely used recreational drug in the American work place and schools. A ban by the IOC would provide some clout.Schultz said the USOC has placed Marijuana on the list of banned substances for admittance to any of the USOC's national training centers. A positive test for any athlete means no admittance.While the summit is being hailed as a watershed event in the IOC's efforts against drugs, Schultz thinks there will be some walking before any running.If the IOC can develop a standardized drug-testing program for athletes, Schultz said he would call that great progress. Some IOC countries do not test at all.USOC president Bill Hybl expressed confidence the IOC will adopt an international policy. He said the USOC's 10 member delegation is heavily weighted with athletes. Frank Shorter, the Olympic marathon winner at Munich in 1972, is part of the group.Schultz also thinks progress could be made on establishing a uniform policy for penalties imposed on athletes who test positive for banned substances.
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