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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 14:57 GMT
Conte explains doping loopholes
Wada president Dick Pound and Balco founder Victor Conte
Pound first called on Conte to help in 2005, now the Balco boss can
Victor Conte has provided anti-doping chief Dick Pound with "specific information" relating to sport's doping problem after a meeting in New York.

Conte, the man behind sport's most infamous doping scandal, was invited to meet Pound after writing an open letter to him on the BBC Sport website.

Pound welcomed the co-operation and said: "We look forward to the benefits of such knowledge."

"It was easy for me to point out the many loopholes that exist," said Conte.

"Without naming the athletes, I did provide specific information regarding how athletes involved with doping around the world are so easily able to circumvent the anti-doping procedures in place.

"Pound asked what changes I would make if I were king of the world of the world of anti-doping for the day.

"And because he was so receptive to the insight I provided, I do believe there will be effective changes made that will benefit the world of sport."

Pound added: "Those of us responsible for leading in the fight against doping look forward to the benefits of such knowledge and cooperation."

"Very much in the same manner that we welcome information from athletes who have doped in the past and are now willing to help us have a greater understanding of the nature and extent of the doping problem and how to attack it."

Conte was the founder of Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (Balco), the San Francisco-based firm that supplied a host of star athletes, including US track and field queen Marion Jones and British sprinter Dwain Chambers, with performance-enhancing drugs.

The former musician served a four-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering in 2005.

At that time, Pound, the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) president, called on Conte to help in the fight against sport's drugs cheats, an invitation the Balco boss accepted in his letter published on this website last month.

Some of (Marion Jones's) competitors may also have used drugs and it's important that what I have to share be considered before the IOC awards any upgrades
Victor Conte

"There is rampant doping going on right now and it can be stopped right now," wrote Conte, who became a household name in the US when Balco's previously undetectable steroid THG was discovered by testers.

Pound responded to Conte by telling BBC Sport: "He said 'Wada has never called me' - I'm calling him. We're setting up a meeting."

The 65-year-old Canadian has been in charge of Wada since the Montreal-based organisation was set up in 1999 but he hands over the presidency to Australian John Fahey in January.

Before the meeting Conte described his evidence as damning and robust and Pound could be in for an eventful last few weeks in the job.

"This intelligence may be important not only for Wada, but also for the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," said Conte.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Matt Slater

"For example, Marion Jones recently gave back her five medals from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and, as a result, other athletes are in line to receive medals or medal upgrades.

"Some of Jones's competitors may also have used drugs and it's important that what I have to share be considered before the IOC awards any upgrades."

The IOC has since stripped Jones of all her medals, but they are concerned that other athletes might be implicated in the Balco affair, which continues to unfold in the US courts.

IOC president Jacques Rogge has already said athletes would have to be "clean" to be considered for an upgrade.

Katerina Thanou, who finished second to Jones in the 100m in 2000, was banned for missing a dope test before the 2004 Games in Athens.

The IOC has also asked for more time to decide whether to strip the medals from the two relay teams that Jones ran in. The International Association of Athletics Federations proposed late last month for all the American's medals to be stripped.



SEE ALSO
Thanou could sue over Jones medal
13 Dec 07 |  Athletics
Jones stripped of Olympic medals
12 Dec 07 |  Athletics
Pound agrees to meet Balco boss
20 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage
Drug cheats to face four-year ban
17 Nov 07 |  Other sport...
Sotherton voices Beijing concerns
16 Nov 07 |  Athletics
New warning over Olympic doping
15 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage
How to beat the drugs cheats
15 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage
Farewell, Dick, we'll miss you
14 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage
Thanou gold medal hopes in doubt
07 Nov 07 |  Athletics
Jones pleads guilty in drug case
06 Oct 07 |  Americas
Balco boss released from prison
30 Mar 06 |  Athletics
The THG scandal explained
24 Feb 04 |  Athletics
Man at the heart of the THG scandal
23 Oct 03 |  Athletics


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