New IOC Chief Asks Athletes to Help Fight Doping -- October 30, 2001
LONDON, Oct. 30. NEW Olympic chief Jacques Rogge has asked "clean" athletes to help in the fight against doping.
In an exclusive interview for BBC Sports news, Rogge called on athletes to blow the whistle on those they suspect of using drugs. The International Olympic Committee president said that competitors must take a stand and work with the authorities if they want a drug-free sport.
"There has to be an effort by the clean athletes to point their fingers at the ones who cheat and tell them: 'We don't want you in our midsts,'" he said.
In startk contrast with his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Rogge has made doping his top priority
"We will only succeed if the clean athletes want to fight with us in the fight against doping."
The IOC president was quizzed by staunch anti-drugs campaigner Paula Radcliffe, a British distance runner.
Radcliffe caused controversy in August when she openly
protested against an athlete at the Trck and Field World Championships in Canada.
Radcliffe held up a placard saying "EPO Cheats Out" during a 5,000m heat featuring the Russian athlete Olga Yegorova. Yegorova became the first athlete to fail a test for the blood-boosting substance EPO at the Paris Golden League meeting in July. She went on to
win the 5,000m gold in Edmonton.
During the incident in Canada, Radcliffe was told to remove her sign by officials at the stadium, but since then has gained support for her actions from many other athletes.
In the interview, Rogge revealed that the fight against drug cheats was at the top of the IOC's agenda.
The Belgian doctor also mentioned measures such as a passport system for keeping track of athletes and tougher penalties for those that encourage them to use drugs.