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US welcomes release of doping files

May 08, 2004 12:20 IST
United States Olympic chiefs have welcomed the US Senate's decision to release documents detailing any drug use by American athletes.

Commerce Committee chairman Senator John McCain said on Thursday that the files would be turned over to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in the hope of ensuring a clean U.S. team for the Athens Olympics.

The Commerce Committee last week received files obtained in a raid on the San Francisco area nutritional supplements company BALCO as part of the U.S. Justice Department's investigation into the illegal sale and use of steroids in sport, including baseball and athletics.

The investigation so far has indicted four men, including the personal trainer for San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, on conspiracy charges linked to performance-enhancing substances.

"We appreciate the leadership and involvement of Senator McCain and the United States Senate on this important issue," Darryl Siebel, spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), said on Friday of the release of the documents.


Senate shares our commitment to sending a team to the Athens Games that represents the highest standards of fair play and clean competition.

"This development will help ensure that if violations of the anti-doping rules have taken place, these violations are dealt with fairly and quickly.

"The action will also help protect the reputation of athletes who may be the target of unfounded suspicion and innuendo."

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) spokesman Frederic Donze said: "It's a step in the right direction in the battle against doping. We will continue to monitor the case...but we are confident the USOC and USADA will take the proper steps from here."

With the Athens Games only 98 days away, USADA, which operates the USOC's anti-doping programmes, has a limited time available to use the documents to achieve their goal of sending a clean team to Greece.

The details of documents, and any names involved, have not been made public.

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