Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Salt Lake Games organizers call for 100 percent testing

July 12, 2001

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— The Salt Lake City Games could be the first Olympics where each athlete must pass a drug test before competing.

In a groundbreaking move, the chief organizers of February's Winter Olympics told the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday that they are asking Congress for $1 million to finance out-of-competition drug tests for up to 1,000 athletes.

Salt Lake Organizing Committee president Mitt Romney and chief financial officer Frazier Bullock said those tests would cover any competitor not tested in the previous four months by a national Olympic committee, a sports federation or the World Anti-Doping Agency.

About half the 10,000 athletes at the last Olympics, in Sydney, were tested before the games. If the Salt Lake plan goes through, it would the first time every athlete at any Olympics would have passed pre-games drug screening. About 2,500 athletes are expected to compete in Salt Lake City.

"We want to assure all athletes of a level playing field and make sure that the cheaters have been caught," Romney said. "This is a monumental goal that I feel would change the face of the Olympic Games."

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