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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Shooting Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Adams shrugs off drugs row
Phillip Adams faces the media in Manchester
Adams has won 17 Commonwealth Games medals
Australian shooter Phillip Adams has admitted that he had been taking a banned substance for two years before being tested positive prior to his sixth Commonwealth Games.

The veteran is being allowed to compete in Manchester despite failing a test undertaken by the Australian Sports Drugs Agency on 25 June.

Adams has been treated for high blood pressure and his doctor prescribed him the medicine Avapro HCT, which contains the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

A hearing was conducted by the Australian Shooting Association tribunal on Wednesday.

open quote
It is a drug that is not performance-enhancing
end quote
Phillip Adams
The tribunal found Adams guilty of taking a banned substance but imposed no penalty because of extenuating circumstances.

Adams claimed that he and his local GP had not spotted that Avapro HCT is banned, while Avapro is not.

Sportsmen have previously been banned from competition despite arguing that they had not been deliberately attempting to bend the rules.

But team boss Don Stockins insisted there was no need to pull Adams out of the Games.

"We've taken every step to make sure the integrity of the Australian team remains intact," insisted Stockins.

"Certainly it's not good for this to happen. We could do without it, but the proper process has been applied."

Team medical director Dr Peter Fricker stressed that each sporting body was at liberty to be more lenient in the case of "inadvertent positives".

"This is not just an in-house whitewashing process. I'd like to think it's never that case in Australia," said Fricker.

"I think we play it pretty fair and the decisions that are made are well-informed and fair."

The Games authorities have subsequently approved the use of Avapro HCT for therapeutic use by Adams should he need it during the competition.

"I just assumed it was okay because I have taken it for a couple of years now," Adams told a press conference on Thursday.

"It is a drug that is not performance-enhancing and certainly doesn't help in shooting."

Adams, who has won more Commonwealth Games medals than any other Australian, insisted that the controversy would not affect his performance.

"I feel more embarrassed for my family," he said.

"I am here to enjoy myself and why not?"

The ASA tribunal finding has been endorsed by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, clearing the way for Adams to compete in Manchester.

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Sports Council Anti-Doping Director Michelle Veroken
"There's a rigorous testing proceedure"
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See also:

14 Jun 02 | Shooting
15 Jun 02 | Shooting
15 Jun 02 | Shooting
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