Drug Report Draws Ire of IOC

Drug Report Draws Ire of IOC
Posted by FoM on September 09, 2000 at 22:37:32 PT
By Amy Shipley, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
Two high-ranking members of the International Olympic Committee today assailed the study on performance-enhancing drugs in sport commissioned by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, calling it biased, inaccurate and incomplete. "The nicest thing you can say about it is that it's woolly [sloppy] as a study," International Olympic Committee Vice President Dick Pound said. "The worst you can say is that it's been deliberately manipulative. It's the most astonishing lack of the scientific method that I've ever seen."
The study, produced by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University with $1 million in funding from the White House drug office, examined and assessed the state of performance-enhancing drug use in Olympic sports. White House drug control policy office director Barry McCaffrey, who will meet with IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and Pound here next week, supported the project.IOC members took exception to what they considered outdated and inaccurate material in the 107-page report, as well as to a lack of recognition of certain anti-doping advances recently undertaken. They further objected to the failure of the report to address drug-control issues in U.S. professional sports, which the IOC says is riddled with more pervasive drug use than in Olympic sports."It's not addressing the problems in your own country, the drug abuse in professional sports, androstenedione on sale over the counter," IOC executive board member Jacques Rogge said. "It's not a well-balanced report. . . . There's far less cheating in Olympic sports than in [U.S.] professional leagues."The culmination of two years of work, the study was funded by the White House drug control policy office, the Abercrombie Foundation and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The CASA has indicated that later reports will deal with abuse in U.S. professional sports leagues.The 15-member CASA commission was chaired by Notre Dame President Edward A. Malloy, and included Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) and Ellen V. Futter, former president of Barnard College.The IOC officials said the report was not discussed during today's executive board meeting, but some officials obtained copies of it and read it anyway. Titled "Winning At Any Cost: Doping in Olympic Sports," it concluded that the financial rewards tied to using illegal drugs, combined with the proliferation of performance-enhancing substances and a faulty drug-testing system, lead to significant abuse.Pound pointed out that the newly developed World Anti-Doping Agency, a semi-independent group that he heads, is not "ultimately limited to making recommendations to the IOC," as the report states.He objected to the report's section entitled "Recommendations and Next Steps," saying it ignored anti-doping advancements made recently by the IOC  such as increasing out-of-competition testing and expanding research  and that it suggested no such measures had been taken.And both Rogge and Pound took particular exception to the statement in the report that some athletes believe 80 to 90 percent of athletes in sports take drugs  an estimate Rogge called "ridiculous." The IOC estimates drug use at about three percent."If I paid for a definitive report on doping and the total cost was $1 million, I would be very, very disappointed," Pound said.Said Rogge: "We have learned nothing from the report. There is nothing new."By Amy Shipley, Washington Post Staff WriterSunday, September 10, 2000; Page D01 Source: Washington Post (DC)Copyright: 2000 The Washington Post CompanyContact: letterstoed washpost.comAddress: 1150 15th Street NorthwestWashington, DC 20071Website: Related Articles & Web Sites:International Olympic Committee: http://www.olympic.orgNational Commission on Sports and Substance Abuse: Criticizes IOC in Drug Fight Pot From Banned List, Says Doctor Report Will Criticize I.O.C. on Drugs
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