tisdag 6 oktober 2009

IOC to mull tougher anti-doping requirements

Tough anti-doping laws that give police the power to raid and investigate those suspected of helping athletes to dope could become a new requirement for countries hoping to host the Olympics.
The value of such police powers was driven home to the International Olympic Committee by the 2006 Turin games, where Italian police raided the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team lodgings and seized a large amount of doping products and equipment.IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said IOC president Jacques Rogge has asked him to prepare a formal proposal that such laws become a requirement for bidding cities. Ljungqvist said it "absolutely" should be in place for cities bidding for the 2018 winter games.
"This is something that I feel should be a prerequisite for bidding cities, that countries do have these laws in place that makes it possible for public authorities and sport to work together, like we did in Italy," Ljungqvist said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press.
During the 2006 Winter Olympics, he said the IOC received intelligence "that something suspicious might be going on" with the Austrians but couldn't act on it because "we have no authority to make a raid." The IOC passed the information to the Italian police, "and they came back to us and said 'Yes, this looks serious and we will make a raid."
Drug tests on the athletes came back negative, but the raid netted what Ljungqvist called "a hematological laboratory, more or less, with all sorts of equipment and substances.".
"This was a very significant experience," Ljungqvist said. "The whole story would have remained unknown to everyone had the Italian law not been in place and had we not shared the information between ourselves."
"It would be dramatically negative for the host country if something happens, or if suspicions happen, that cannot be pursued. It would look very bad," he added. "They have to have the law in place that supports their police authorities to do it ... because this will happen again."

Associated Press

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