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Friday, November 27, 1998 Published at 15:09 GMT


Olympic progress over drugs code

The Tour de France was racked by drug controversy

By Clare Doole in Lausanne

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, has expressed satisfaction at the determination of all members of the Olympic movement to fight drugs in sport.

The Olympic Committee needed a display of unity from the International Sports Federations to show the world of its determination to stamp out drugs in sport.

The majority of federations did support its proposals for the creation of a central drugs agency for out-of-competition testing and for a medical code with common rules, testing procedures and penalties.

It is envisaged those penalties will be a minimum two year suspension for a first offence, rising to a maximum life ban for a second offence.

But three international federations - cycling, football and tennis - expressed reservations. The acting secretary-general of Fifa said the bans may be legally difficult to apply.

Mr Samaranch expressed confidence that all three federations would drop their objections before next year's major drugs summit.

But it was these three powerful groups that scuppered the IOC's attempts nearly five years ago to find common ground in the fight against doping.

On other key points, the federations:

  • Endorsed the creation of an independent anti-doping agency to co-ordinate the fight against drugs around the world

  • Called for co-operation on doping issues between sports bodies and government authorities

  • Pledged to intensify doping prevention policies through educational and promotional campaigns

  • Agreed to refer doping disputes to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport once internal appeals procedures had been exhausted.

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