IOC to up doping tests for London 2012 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

IOC to up doping tests for London 2012

By Karolos Grohmann 22/06/2007 05:50:03 AM Comments (0)

The International Olympic Committee plans to test about one out of every two athletes for banned substances at the London 2012 Olympics, an increase of more than 10 per cent compared to the Beijing 2008 Games.

"The IOC will augment tests," IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters in a teleconference, as part of the IOC's "zero tolerance" on drugs.

He said some 4,500 athletes would be tested at next year's Beijing Olympics compared to 3,700 tests in Athens in 2004. A total of 5,000 tests were planned for London.

Rogge said the IOC would also recommend a greater flexibility in sanctions, increasing bans up to four years compared to the current two-year bans for first-time offenders, and in exceptional cases even handing down life bans.

Athletes' entourages would also be more carefully scrutinised and out-of-competition unannounced tests increased as part of the IOC's fight against doping.

"(Testing) athletes whose performance or behaviour could elicit some suspicion," he said. Rogge said he was also supporting DNA sampling to crack down on cheats.

"We are in favour of sampling DNA. It is an important aspect of finding proof of blood doping," Rogge said.

Meanwhile, Rogge said the doping problems that have engulfed cycling should not be a reason for the sport to be thrown out of the Olympics.

"My position and the position of the IOC is very clear - we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

"It is not the UCI (International Cycling Union) that is cheating. It is the riders."

Rogge said as long as the UCI adhered to the doping code and did everything by the book to protect the sport then cycling would remain part of the Olympic program at future Games.

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