Pound denies lab leaked Thorpe name - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pound denies lab leaked Thorpe name

By Valkerie Mangnall 03/05/2007 05:47:48 AM Comments (0)

World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound has denied any drug-testing laboratory leaked news of Ian Thorpe's investigation for abnormal hormone levels.

French newspaper L'Equipe recently alleged a urine sample Thorpe provided in May last year produced abnormally high readings for testosterone and luteinizing hormone, which are on the banned substances list.

The adverse analytical finding to the naturally produced substances does not constitute a positive test.

But swimming's world governing body, FINA, has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to investigate the doping control test conducted by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

"In the Thorpe case ... there's no indication that the leak of the name of the athlete came from a laboratory. In fact I would be very surprised if it did come from a lab," Pound told a teleconference.

Pound said WADA was not involved in the case but would monitor the situation in Australia and any international action taken by FINA.

"Our role is simply to remind people that until there is a finding of a doping offence, it's a very important policy issue that the names not be out there and bandied around, particularly if it turns out there is no doping case," he said.

"If we come to the conclusion that the wrong result has been achieved, we would get involved."

Thorpe has been granted an open-ended extension to provide medical information to ASADA.

The five-times Olympic champion, a staunch anti-doping campaigner, denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to track down and possibly prosecute the person or organisation that leaked the story.

Under WADA's Code, anti-doping organisations are prohibited from speaking about cases unless the athlete under investigation waives the right to privacy.

But WADA is considering rule changes which will allow anti-doping agencies to respond to remarks made publicly by athletes if those comments are demonstrably false or incorrect.

"We find it pretty unfortunate that for the period of six months or a year, there's this barrage of information from people who have a particular interest in a doping appeal, and the authorities who are in a possession of the facts are muzzled," Pound said.

"We think it's important to be able to say, `hold it, what you have just heard from Mr or Ms X is dead wrong.'"

WADA is also considering research into introducing an Athlete's Passport, which would track biological data from athletes over a period of time with a view to using any significant changes to indicate doping.

Meanwhile, Pound said Australia's relatively high level of drug-testing could serve as a benchmark for 2008 Olympic hosts China - who, with a population of more than one billion, were under-performing on doping control.

"In Australia, which has 20 million inhabitants, they did 8,000 tests during 2005 and China did about the same number," he said.

"Proportionately, our view was that was not adequate on the part of the Chinese."

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