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IOC Warns Australian Coaches to Back Off!

Jul 17, 2000  - Paul Quinlan

Jacques Rogge, Co-ordinator of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games for the IOC, has warned that things are starting to back fire on Australian swimming coaches who have been very critical of swimmers from other nation's swimmers for suspicions of taking banned performance enhancing substances.

Australian, American and other leading world coaches have led the fight against the abuse of the sport's history by systematic drug programs in eastern block countries and the Peoples republic of China.

Australian and American coaches have been in the vanguard of moves by the World Swimming Coaches Association to have FINA and the IOC introduce blood testing to detect new substances and human growth hormones in time for the 2000 Games in Sydney.

While the scientists say they have tests ready and authenticated, the bureaucrats and legal minded members of FINA and the IOC seem determined, whether well meaning or not, to delay the introduction of the tests, even for subsequent testing when even they will have to admit to the accuracy of the results.

Coaches who feel strongly enough will and should not be deterred by the accusations of the respected Jacques Rogge.

Rogge's warning was motivated by publicity for the release of a new book by an Australian discus thrower, Werner Reitterer. Reitterer announced that he and many other Australian athletes and swimmers were successful only because of a performance enhancing drugs program.

The publicity was proven and admitted to be false within twenty four hours, particularly in relation to the Australian swimming team. It is now reported that a number of 1996 Olympians will take legal action against the former field athlete.