Drugs In Sport: Samaranch claims battle can be won

Tuesday 20 October 1998 23:02

THE PRESIDENT of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, is confident that the forthcoming anti-doping conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, will make giant strides in sport's battle against drugs.

But Samaranch recognised that without international cooperation the problem would be insurmountable and he called for national federations to work to a single set of rules.

The IOC chief was quoted in in the Spanish newspaper El Pais yesterday as saying: "It's difficult to find a solution but we are convinced we can make enormous steps forward with the conference in Lausanne in February next year.

"The three most important things to take from this conference will be, firstly, a clear definition of what doping is, secondly, the creation of an anti-doping agency in Lausanne - which will be a great help to the international federations - and, thirdly, to set out exactly where governments are fighting and where sporting organisations are fighting.

"If we make progress on all three points I think the people who are still working in the world of drugs will find things going badly for them.

"The international federations, especially, must have the same order of sanctions, although there might be a scale of sanctions.

"Above all, the IOC medical code, accepted by all federations, is to demonstrate that the sporting world is united in the fight against drugs."

Samaranch said he was confident of future success in the battle against drugs but insisted there was only so much the IOC could do on its own.

"You have to take into account that we can only coordinate, we do not issue com- mands. An international federation will not be told to do anything by the IOC.

"We are convinced that sport can exist without drugs and we don't only have the obligation to clean up sport to save the health of the athletes, but also because drug use is illegal and that can't be accepted in sport.

"But I'm confident about the conference in Lausanne. If not, we wouldn't be doing it."

Meanwhile, Indonesia's Sigit Budiarto has tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone, the International Badminton Federation said yesterday.

The ruling body said he failed a routine dope test at the Konica Cup tournament in Singapore in August.

The IBF said in a statement that a B sample had yet to be tested and would be done so in the presence of a representative of the player and/or his association.

"It is not the IBF's usual practice to release such information until the second part of the same urine sample has been tested and has confirmed the findings from the A sample and a disciplinary hearing has taken place," the IBF said.

"However, it appears that the above information has already become known outside the IBF and the Badminton Association of Indonesia," it added in the statement.

The IBF said it would not make further comment until after any disciplinary hearing.

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