|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 11, 2000
Aus coach demands EPO test for swimmersDerek Parr
Australian head swimming coach Don Talbot warned on Monday against concentrating blood testing for drugs on longer-distance racers and ignoring the sprinters who might otherwise "get away with murder".
Talbot welcomed the introduction of the tests to detect EPO (erythropoietin) but said he was worried by talk that the banned substance helped only the distance racers. "It's just absolute baloney," he said.
"It's across the field -- sprinters and everybody. Sprinters, it changes the way they've got to work and they can do less and recover quicker."
"And the distance people, of course, they've got a greater capacity to work."
"They shouldn't just be focusing on the distance people, which they look like they're doing right now."
"That worries me quite a lot. A whole lot of sprinters are going to get away with murder probably, if they don't cover the sprinters as well."
Talbot said several of his swimmers, including Olympic 200 and 400 metres freestyle favourite Ian Thorpe and top 1,500 metres men Kieren Perkins and Grant Hackett, had undergone tests after the team's first work-out at the Homebush Bay training pool.
The squad had also had a total of 258 urine tests during the preceding training camp in Melbourne.
"They tell me they are doing that with everybody. I applaud that," Talbot said. "I think that's fantastic, particularly the blood tests."
"Ian Thorpe in particular said if they are going to do blood testing... 'let me get to the front of the line.'
"So everybody accepted that okay. I don't think anyone has got anything to hide. I think they all feel that that's going to help a lot in finding people who are cheating. And if it does that, I think it's worth it."
Talbot and Thorpe both championed the introduction of blood testing, putting the case with particular passion earlier this year when a German coach called Thorpe's prodigious achievements into question.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided in the run-up to the Games to introduce blood and urine analysis to detect EPO, which increases the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen to the tissues.
Last week, China withdrew 27 members of their Olympic team, including four swimmers, acknowledging that some had returned suspicious results from blood tests.
Mail your comments
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK