IOC Executive Assails White House Drug Chief

IOC Executive Assails White House Drug Chief
Posted by FoM on September 25, 1999 at 07:52:27 PT
By Stephen Wilson, Associated Press
Source: Fox News
A senior Olympic executive said the White House drug adviser is wrong to criticize the International Olympic Committee. IOC vice president Dick Pound said he was troubled by attacks made by Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, concerning the IOC's plans for an anti-drug agency. 
McCaffrey said this week the project is unacceptable because it lacks accountability and independence. He called the IOC untrustworthy and "Byzantine.'' "With the greatest of respect, your view is clearly wrong,'' Pound said in a letter to McCaffrey. In a four-page letter, a copy of which was obtained Friday by The Associated Press, Pound urged McCaffrey to tackle the drug problem in his own backyard. The United States "could contribute a great deal ... were its own policies clear, unequivocal and fully implemented in its own territory,'' he said. Pound cited an "enormous disconnect'' between McCaffrey's attacks on the IOC and the drug situation in professional sports in the United States. "Performance-enhancing drugs are widely used and apparently regularly tolerated,'' Pound said. The IOC official also took another swipe at Mark McGwire, who acknowledged using androstenedione last season when he hit a record 70 home runs. "In some sports, the national icons freely admit to using drugs that are prohibited within the Olympic movement,'' Pound said. Androstenedione, which is legal in major league baseball, is on the IOC's list of banned steroids. McGwire said earlier this season he stopped using the product. Pound suggested the anti-drug fight was being compromised in the United States by the threat of lawsuits against drug suspensions. "If you wanted the U.S. to demonstrate leadership in this vital area, you could find a mechanism to insulate (international sports federations) from the ruinous exposure and expense that such lawsuits entail,'' he said. Pound also complained that the IOC had not received a reply to a letter it sent last May to McCaffrey and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressing concern over the ineffective labeling of dietary supplements. Many of these supplements, available over-the-counter and advertised on the Internet, contain banned substances. Pound said he hoped to discuss plans for the anti-drug agency in meetings with McCaffrey earlier this year. But he said two scheduled meetings were canceled by McCaffrey's staff. "It would have been more helpful ... for you to have provided input regarding the international consensus than simply to criticize the valuable work that has been accomplished,'' Pound said. "Casting doubt upon the genuineness of the commitment of those involved in the international effort is not helpful.'' Pound said the framework for the agency had been backed by the European Union, United Nations, World Health Organization, Interpol and other bodies. He reiterated that the IOC plans to set up the agency by the end of this year and have it in place for next year's Sydney Olympics. With the IOC putting up an initial $25 million in funding, the agency will coordinate drug-testing around the world. Pound said it was agreed earlier this year that no single constituency would control the agency, that Olympic leaders and government officials would be equally represented. But he said the IOC is resolved to proceed "with or without the participation of public authorities.'' Pound defended the IOC's record on drugs, saying, "No other organization in the world has done more than the IOC in the struggle against doping in sport.'' He said the IOC has backed plans for unannounced out-of-competition tests, funded research into developing tests for EPO and human growth hormone, and promised to implement blood tests once a reliable analysis is established. 5.07 a.m. ET (913 GMT) September 25, 1999comments newsdigital.comę 1999, News America Digital Publishing, IncMcCaffrey Related Articles:
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