Statement from the IOC
The recent revelations of positive anti-doping test results remind us that the fight against drug-taking in sport is a daily battle. While it is not the role of the IOC to pass judgement on recent cases, it is the IOC’s responsibility to alert the athletes and the public at large to the dangers of doping. Doping is not only cheating, it can also seriously harm the health of those who take banned substances on a regular basis.
Within its scope of action at the Olympic Games, the IOC has deployed unprecedented efforts to fight against this scourge. In Turin for example, some 1,200 tests were carried out: an overall increase of 72 per cent compared with Salt Lake City. The testing period was significantly increased to run from the day of the opening of the Olympic Village to the day of the Closing Ceremony. In addition to the first five finishers who are automatically tested, the IOC also increased the number of random tests which can be conducted on any athlete, any time and anywhere, during the period mentioned above.
The IOC does not hesitate to set up its own disciplinary commission to carry out investigations when necessary. Moreover, when needed, the IOC works in tandem with national and regional authorities - as it did for example during the Turin Olympic Games, when the Italian authorities and the IOC coordinated their efforts. Currently, there are disciplinary commissions working on the cases linked to Balco and to Austrian athletes and Mr Walter Mayer. The IOC also strongly supports the work of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the efforts deployed to achieve harmonisation of the fight against doping across nations.
Speaking on the issue, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “The fight against doping is a top priority for the IOC, and for four years we have been driving a zero tolerance policy, activating this with stringent means at the three past Olympic Games - Salt Lake City, Athens and Turin. Events of recent days are extremely disappointing in many respects, but we should not be totally discouraged by them. Whilst on the one hand, such revelations make sports lovers feel understandably deceived, on a more positive note, every test that catches cheaters demonstrates that increased testing does have an impact. We must keep up the fight against doping through strengthened concerted efforts between governments and the world of sport, not only to test athletes but also to educate young people about the health dangers of doping and the devastating effect it can have on a person's image and career."