skip to content
08 Nov 1999
IOC News


Lausanne, 8 November 1999 - Discusses Doping Control Programs for the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) Medical Commission further defined its policies guiding the doping control program for next year’s Olympic Games at its plenary meeting chaired by Prince Alexandre de Merode, 2 – 4 November in Sydney. The Medical Commission decided it will allow International Sports Federations (IFs) to conduct tests that identify the hematocrit or hemoglobin level of their athletes to check whether they are fit to compete at the Games.
This announcement is in addition to the IOC Executive Board decisions of June to conduct out-of competition testing at the Games and of August to allow blood tests that would be conducted either for control purposes, if a scientifically and legally substantiated test were found, or for research purposes, under voluntary and anonymous conditions.
Blood tests. The Medical Commission determined that International Sports Federations (IFs) that express an interest in checking the hematocrit or hemoglobin levels of their athletes for health reasons may do so under their own authority, using their own funds, and in accordance with their own rules. Given that such tests are not valid to be considered as doping controls, they will be performed in the medical care centers located at the various venues and not in the doping-control centers.
The Medical Commission also confirmed that if a scientifically and legally valid control was developed that identifies the presence of performance enhancing drugs, such as human growth hormone (hGH) and erythropoietin (EPO), those tests would be carried out at the Games.
If a valid test is not found, and if research underway at that time would be enhanced by the performance of experimental blood tests, those tests would be performed under strict rules which will maintain the anonymity of volunteer athletes who will sign a release form.
Out-of-competition testing. In addition to its usual in-competition testing, the IOC Medical Commission will conduct out-of-competition tests starting from the moment the athletes come under the IOC’s jurisdiction, when he or she signs the Olympic Games entry form in late-August.
These tests will be performed with the agreement of the IFs and with the collaboration of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs). They will be conducted without notice and at any time or venue.
Other actions. The Medical Commission also:
noted the group of international experts who met in Rome in March 1999 to assess the results of research on hGH had found that to date there was no scientifically and legally acceptable test to control this substance.
approved ten biomechanics projects involving seven sports (athletics, gymnastics, kayaking, rowing, swimming, softball, and tennis) which are on the program for the Games in Sydney. These projects will seek to both protect the athlete from harmful motions and enhance performances through legal methods.
heard the final report by the medical services team of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano as well as the reports on the preparation of medical services for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney in 2000 and the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.

In 1967, the IOC became the first sports organization in the world to establish a medical commission. The IOC Medical Commission's activity is founded on three basic principles: 1) the protection of the health of athlete, 2) the defense of medical and sports ethics, and 3) the insurance an equal chance for everyone at the time of the competition. It funds, promotes, and coordinates research toward identifying both substances and actions harmful to the athlete and disseminates information to athletes, coaches, and administrators on maintaining the health of athletes through publications and seminars.

Tags IOC News
back to top