Call for blood tests

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The Independent Online

Lee Naylor, the chairwoman of the Australian athletes' commission, yesterday urged all Australian track and field athletes to donate blood for drug testing.

Lee Naylor, the chairwoman of the Australian athletes' commission, yesterday urged all Australian track and field athletes to donate blood for drug testing.

Speaking at a news conference at Sydney's Olympic Stadium before the three-day national championships which start today, the 400-metre runner said: "I would hope that 100 per cent of the track and field athletes take up the opportunity.

"But I'm not naïve enough to say track and field is completely drug-free. If I thought there were no drugs in sport, I wouldn't be asking for this."

Asked what her reaction would be if some of her team-mates chose not to take part, she said: "I guess we probably would have to be suspicious."

Talk about banned performance-enhancing drugs is likely to dominate the build-up to the Sydney Olympics which open on 15 September. Some scientists believe that testing blood as well as urine could help to catch more cheats.

Last month the former Australian Olympic discus thrower Werner Reiterer alleged that some of the country's top athletes were using a banned human growth hormone.

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