McCaffrey to call for Pound's removal at IOC meeting

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The Independent Online

United States drug chief Barry McCaffrey will call for the removal of International Olympic Committee vice-president Dick Pound as chairman of the IOC's anti-doping agency when he meets with Juan Antonio Samaranch.

United States drug chief Barry McCaffrey will call for the removal of International Olympic Committee vice-president Dick Pound as chairman of the IOC's anti-doping agency when he meets with Juan Antonio Samaranch.

McCaffrey, the White House's chief drug adviser, joined in Wednesday as 26 nations signed an agreement to play a leading role in the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) during a drugs in sport summit in Sydney.

IOC president Samaranch has embraced the support and invited a delegation, including McCaffrey, to discuss plans for WADA, which was established last week.

Australian IOC president Kevan Gosper, speaking after the doping summit ended Wednesday, said Samaranch had been fully briefed throughout the meeting and was "very pleased." "There's a lot of goodwill here," Gosper said.

McCaffrey has been critical of the current form of WADA and said he would make his point in the meetings with Samaranch. Dates for the meetings have not been set.

"I'm going to see them to listen, be respectful and say here are our concerns from the Sydney (summit)," McCaffrey said Wednesday.

Chief among the concerns are the need for an independent chairman and the necessity to move the agency from Lausanne, a point already accepted by the IOC.

"Mr. Pound is brilliant - he testified to U.S. Congress last week and did a splendid job," said McCaffrey.

"He's smart, he's a potential future president of the IOC but he's also the marketeer. He negotiates 1.08 billion dollars in television rates out of U.S. television alone. You shouldn't have your marketeer being the independent drug testing person."

McCaffrey said he was optimistic that a solution suitable to all sides will be worked out.

"When we're done with this we're going to end up with a situation we all find attractive," McCaffrey said. "That'll be a good thing for the IOC and a good thing for the rest of us."

The government agencies which attended the Sydney summit established a steering committee to be led by Australia and Canada.

Australia hosted and organized the summit while the delegates followed a proposal submitted by Canadian secretary of state for amateur sports Denis Coderre.

"If we want to participate, we have to put the emphasis on the 'W' - the world agency," Coderre said.

Gosper said the summit, which included countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America and Oceania, had helped widen the Eurocentric focus of WADA.

"It filled the gap that WADA started off with being European orientated," Gosper said. "The Europeans understand now how important it is to take the rest of the world on board.

"This was truly a world representative group saying what they expected of WADA, what they wanted of WADA, but with full support for WADA."

McCaffrey said he was excited by the combined drive shown by the nations represented in Sydney.

"It was astonishing," said McCaffrey. "In a short period we've ended up with the US being one of many, marshaling our efforts behind Australian and Canadian leadership with a fairly unified belief that it is possible to create an independent drug testing agency.

"I couldn't imagine a better outcome. We had to get beyond seeing this as a turf issue and seeing it as a shared responsibility to our athletes."

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