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IOC takes tough stance at doping summit
March 03, 2003 21:27 IST
Any government which refuses to sign up to a new Anti-Doping Code this week cannot expect to host a future Olympic Games, Olympic chief Jacques Rogge warned on Monday.
International Olympic Committee president Rogge also said that federations who do not sign the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code can not expect a place in the Games for their sports.
"Let us not underestimate the gravity of the task in hand," the Belgian head of the Olympic movement said at a drugs summit in the Danish capital. "For those sports organisations which do not accept the Code, there should be no place in the Olympic Games.
"Likewise, any country whose government does not accept the Code cannot expect to become a host country for future Olympic Games."
Unifying guidelines to combat drug cheats are being presented to sports chiefs and governments over the next three days.
They include one all-encompassing list of prohibited substances instead of the two currently used and a mandatory two-year ban for athletes guilty of serious doping offences.
The blanket two-year ban has proved a sticking point for cycling federation chief Hein Verbruggen who says a two-year penalty in some sports is equivalent to a life ban.
Rogge's hardline stance on Monday will come as no comfort to the UCI chief who is staying away from the summit.
WADA chief Dick Pound issued a rousing rallying call as he opened the conference.
"Let us go to work -- let us make history," the Canadian lawyer told more than 1,000 delegates.
"If we do our work on this occasion, years from now, when the fight against doping in sport has become a success, the world will look back on this conference as a seminal moment in this fight.
"If we do not succeed on this occasion, the world will judge us as having failed to demonstrate the commitment necessary to protect the value of sport.
"We are not here to exchange general statements, but to take several vital concrete actions that will advance the fight against doping in sport.
"It is a fight that, in the interests of sport and the youth of the world, we simply must win."
United Nations spokesman Adolf Ogi added: "Doping kills athletes, doping kills sports. Doping is anti-sports.
"The world's use has put its health and future in your hands," he told the delegates. "Please act responsibly."