Government Begin Discussing Anti-Doping Initiative

Government Begin Discussing Anti-Doping Initiative
Posted by FoM on November 15, 1999 at 12:36:12 PT
Associated Press
Source: Ottawa Citizen
A senior International Olympic Committee official defended the organization's formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency amid American criticism that the fledgling drug watchdog can't function properly because it is not totally independent of the IOC.
"The United States probably feels concerned that at the completion of the work done in Europe, the move to (the agency) went at a pace that they weren't comfortable with and they felt possibly that they hadn't been invited into it," IOC vice-president Kevan Gosper told delegates Monday at an international anti-doping summit. Gosper was responding to criticism from U.S. White House drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey that the new agency had too many links with the IOC. IOC vice-president Dick Pound of Montreal is heading up the agency provisionally based in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is also the headquarters of the international Olympic movement. Earlier Monday, McCaffrey repeated his criticism of the new agency. "It looks to us as though it will be dominated by the IOC," McCaffrey said. "That, to us, is unacceptable." Gosper told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio that McCaffrey's attacks were based on outdated information. "I think that the United States has not really kept fully in touch with developments that have taken place," Gosper said. The agency, formed last week by the IOC, will have representatives from sports bodies, including the Olympic governing body, on its board as well as government officials. The IOC will have four seats on the agency's board, which can have up to 35 members. Global anti-doping experts began a series of meetings Monday on how governments can co-operate to help fight against performance-enhancing drug use. Australian organizers want delegates at the summit, which ends Wednesday, to agree to standards in doping control and improved international co-operation. But so far, it has been overshadowed by McCaffrey's row with Australian Olympic officials. In addition to Gosper, McCaffrey has also locked horns with Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, who attempted unsuccessfully to have McCaffrey banned from touring Sydney's 2000 Olympics complex Sunday. At the summit, McCaffrey is seeking support for six principles he believes must anchor global anti-doping policy. Items on McCaffrey's wish list include: - The agency be fully independent. - Athletes be subject to year-round, random testing. - No statute of limitations for doping. - Samples be preserved so they can be tested later when new procedures are developed. - More advanced scientific research. - The promotion of an ethic of clean competition. Australian Sports Minister Jackie Kelly opened the summit Monday by pledging roughly $1 million US to fund research with the IOC to develop a successful procedure to detect the performance-enhancing drug, erythropoietin. Monday November 15, 1999  The Canadian Press, 1999Related Articles:Sydney 2000 To Ban U.S. Anti-Drugs Czar -Paper - 11/14/99 Join IOC' s Drug Agency - 11/02/99 Drug Czar Rejects IOC Proposals - 10/27/99
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