London 2012 - Weiner calls for more drug testing

Sat, 01 Jan 13:41:00 2011

Former White House drugs tzar Robert Weiner has urged sporting authorities to ramp up their out of competition testing for the London 2012 Olympics - claiming they are losing the battle with dope cheats.

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London 2012 and the International Olympic Committee are expected to mount the biggest in-competition testing programme in history - eclipsing the 4770 tests, which comprised 3801 urine tests and 969 blood tests, that were processed in Beijing.

But Weiner wants more focus on testing now - claiming the World Anti-Doping Agency must focus on targeting cheats out of competition.

"London, get ready for a flurry of drug busts. To stop athletes from doping during the London Games, start the drug testing now," he wrote in an op-ed article in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

"Testing the athletes before the Games, and not just on-site during the Games, is the lesson of the Salt Lake City Olympics and since.

"The real question is how many cheating athletes were not caught before the Games-because most cheating occurs in training, not the competition itself.

"The triumvirate who created and armed WADA at its creation in 1999, WADA president Richard Pound, US drug czar Barry McCaffrey, and USADA head and Olympic marathon champion Frank Shorter, are no longer involved and pushing the envelope.

"Yet WADA must continue to assure that each Olympic athlete complies with its standards on banned substances-no exceptions.

"Drug busts happened in Salt Lake City, in Beijing, in Vancouver, and will occur in London. They do not mean the Olympics are dirty-they mean the Games are being kept clean."

Weiner also hit out at the number of athletes who claim medical conditions that mean they get waivers to test for certain banned substances.

"Olympic athletes bypass drug disqualifications with waivers, called therapeutic use exemptions (TUE's), or come at the last minute to international events to avoid early testing," he added.

"TUE's are legitimate for illnesses like cancer, but former World Anti-Doping chair Dick Pound has sarcastically said that it's amazing the world's fittest athletes-Olympians-have six times the colds of the rest of humanity. TUE's are a huge loophole."

More Than The Games / Eurosport

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