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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 13:41 GMT
US 'to get tough on drugs'
US athletics officials are ready to show they are strong on drugs, the World Anti-Doping Agency has said.

Attention has shifted to the US after British sprinter Dwain Chambers was banned for testing positive for THG.

International athletics chiefs have accused USA Track & Field of failing to punish athletes who test positive.

But WADA boss Dick Pound believes this will change. "The US are determined to get out from under the suggestion that they aren't strong on doping," he said.

"The science is right, the results are clear and there are positive cases."

European 100m champion Chambers is the first athlete to be banned for testing positive for THG.

But the focus of the THG investigation is not Britain, but the US, where Chambers had been training in 2003.

His coach Remi Korchemny, who has been indicted by a federal grand jury, is at the centre of the inquiry.

Four American track and field athletes have also tested positive for the steroid, which was discovered in a Los Angeles laboratory last year.

US shot put champion Kevin Toth, hammer throwers John McEwen and Melissa Price and middle-distance runner Regina Jacobs will have their cases considered by US Anti-Doping Agency.

Questions remain over THG, but Pound said that while some national athletics federations were seen as dragging their feet on doping issues, it was now the time to act.

"There needs to be punishment for offenders," he said.

THG was discovered by scientists at the Olympic Analytical Laboratory in Los Angeles last year after a syringe containing the new substance was handed to the USADA by an anonymous athletics coach.

The USADA said it believed the drug had been developed in the California-based Balco laboratory.

As well Korchemny, the federal jury has also indicted Balco owner Victor Conte, his vice-president Jim Valente and Greg Anderson, the personal trainer for baseball star Barry Bonds.

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