- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 19, 2002

In the 12 months prior to the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, 3,500 drug tests of athletes have been completed, said Richard Pound, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency. That number includes 1,200 in the two months preceding the opening ceremonies.
"At the Olympics, we want heroes, not just winners," Mr. Pound said during a press conference in Montreal, adding that the agency that he founded has reached drug-testing agreements with 34 of the 35 International Sports Federations, including all seven winter sports: biathlon, bobsled, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing.
Mr. Pound told The Washington Times that enabling increased public accountability and that protecting athletes' rights by ensuring that all of them are competing drug-free are critical parts of assuring that the Games succeed.
He noted that most athletes do not cheat, basically for three reasons: They do not want to harm their bodies, they do not want to get caught and they want to honor the ethics of sport and the Olympic ideals.
Mr. Pound said in Salt Lake City, just before the start of the Games on Feb. 8, the agency will institute an athlete's drug "passport" to document doping-control records.
"Why are we doing all this? It is important for all the world's youth to see Olympic ethics at work and at their best. Athletes will take note therefore what we do in this field should again, as it was in Sydney, [Australia], be a powerful deterrent to cheating before, during and after the Games."
Mr. Pound who resigned as chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) marketing commission and as the agency's chief TV-rights negotiator after losing his bid for the IOC presidency in July is getting a new high-profile role with the organization: head of a new commission charged with coming up with ways to reduce the spiraling size and cost of the Olympics.
He received a fax yesterday from IOC President Jacques Rogge confirming his appointment.
"I'm happy to be appointed to the position and will do my best to make it an effective commission," he said. The IOC is expected to formally announce the appointment Monday.
In Montreal, Mr. Pound said since the agency's founding a little more than two years ago, it has become a viable force in efforts to free sports from the taint of doping and drugs. The agency has sought to emphasize the importance of informing athletes and their parents, doctors, trainers and coaches about the potential health risks of taking or providing performance-enhancing drugs.
Mr. Pound also outlined efforts by the agency to make the Salt Lake City Games the most drug-free Olympics in history, including the fact that the seven winter sports are conducting their own tests and are allowing the agency to conduct unannounced testing.
He said the agency is nearing completion of a pact with FIFA soccer's international governing body which will bring it into agreement with all 35 sports federations. Of 2,600 tests through Jan. 10, he said that 24, or about 1 percent, were positive or elevated, and that some athletes with elevated results may have preapproved medical declarations.
He also said the agency will have 12 independent observers at the Olympics for seven sports.
The agency will create a clearinghouse for all test results worldwide, seek to harmonize standards so that the various sports have a uniform policy and continue its efforts to upgrade testing, Mr. Pound said.

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