Athletics: Lewis slates US 'cover up'

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Carl Lewis has accused the sport's authorities in the United States of trying to cover up the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs after it emerged yesterday that two more American athletes are embroiled in a doping scandal.

A few days after a furore involving Sandra Farmer-Patrick and Mary Slaney, two unnamed American athletes have tested positive for banned drugs.

Lewis, America's most successful athlete, said of US track and field authorities: "There is no question in my mind that they have more knowledge about the drug problem than they are telling the public.

"The problem [in US athletics] now is that the structure has broken down and the doping problem is being ignored and sometimes supported... They are overlooking the drug problem and, in some cases, may have even tried to protect athletes."

International Amateur Athletic Federation officials in Monaco were unable to confirm the two positive tests.

IAAF sources could not name the substances involved or when the tests were held, but they said US officials were expected to inform them of the results in the next few days.