Winter Games dope free so far

February 20th, 2010 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, Feb 20 (DPA) No competitors at the winter Olympics have been tested positive in more than 1,300 doping tests as the Games reach the halfway mark.
The figures were welcomed Friday by Olympic officials who have stepped up the amount and quality of testing at the Games.

“Clearly it’s good news if athletes aren’t doping,” International Olympic Committee (IOC) communications director Mark Adams said.

“To my mind if we can get through the Games and there are no cases, that would be a great testament that actually the athletes are competing clean.”

In the only doping violation case of the Games, Russian ice-hockey player Svetlana Terenteva received a reprimand after testing positive for a prohibited stimulant taken before arriving.

The substance was contained in a medicine she had taken under prescription for a heavy cold and which is prohibited in competition but not out of competition.

By the end of Thursday, 1,363 doping tests had been carried out. Of these 485 were taken post-competition including 408 urine and 77 blood. Typically the five top finishing athletes and two athletes chosen at random are tested.

The IOC said it hoped to carry out some 2,000 tests during the Games in what is the most comprehensive testing procedure in winter Olympics history. In Salt Lake City in 2002, some 700 athletes were tested while the figure was at 1,200 four years ago in Turin.

Before the Games began, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said it had now become harder than ever for doping cheats to go undetected at Olympic Games.

Athletes at the Games are being tested by WADA and the organizing committee VANOC under the authority of the IOC which is responsible for managing results during the Games period.

A WADA-accredited laboratory has been set up at Richmond to analyse samples. Doping control stations have been set up in each competition venue, the medal plazas and the Olympic villages.

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