McCaffrey to leave White House drug post

Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug policy adviser for five years and a prominent supporter of rigorous drug-testing programs in sports, is leaving his job to pursue work in the private sector.

Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug policy adviser for five years and a prominent supporter of rigorous drug-testing programs in sports, is leaving his job to pursue work in the private sector.

McCaffrey had praised the International Olympic Committee's new anti-doping efforts in Sydney, but urged increased vigilance for the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

President Bill Clinton directed McCaffrey to serve as the U.S. representative on the newly established World Anti-Doping Agency's board.

McCaffrey cited a number of encouraging developments, including the world agency, testing of athletes outside the competition cycle, and a new drug test for the hormone EPO.

The publicity over athletes who fail athletes will yield promising results, McCaffrey said.

"Right now, there's a 14-year-old girl or a 12-year-old girl, saying to herself, 'I'm going to be a gold medalist at the Athens Games,' and she'll say, 'Hmm, maybe I can go compete and win without using EPO, without injecting human growth hormone into my leg, without permanently ruining my sexual development,"' he said.

The key, he said, is continuing to crack down on the use of performance-enhancing drugs leading to the 2002 Winter Games.

His resignation is effective Jan. 6, two weeks before Clinton leaves office. He said he is considering two job offers from universities to teach national security issues.

In announcing the surprise move Monday, McCaffrey said he "was grateful for the leadership and support" of the Clinton administration.

He said federal funds to fight drugs have increased and that adolescent drug abuse has fallen since he was appointed to the post.

A retired general, McCaffrey has been Clinton's director of national drug control policy since April 1996. He was previously commander of the Army's Southern Division.

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