Drugs In Sport: US looks for outside help on dope tests

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AN EXPLOSION of doping scandals over the past month has prompted a significant acknowledgment in the United States that sporting federations should not necessarily police themselves. The United States Olympic Committee said on Thursday that it was considering handing over drug testing to an outside agency.

The proposal, from an advisory body who met last week in Indianapolis, will be considered by the USOC executive committee, possibly at meetings in Phoenix this October.

High-profile doping cases in athletics and swimming, the two major sports of the Olympic Games, have featured in the headlines this month as the countdown to the 2000 Sydney Olympics gathers pace.

The International Olympic Committee president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, has responded by calling a special meeting of his executive board in Lausanne next Thursday.