IOC winning war on drugs – Rogge
Olympics:The crackdown on doping offenders in the run-up to the London Olympics has been a success after testers caught more than a 100 athletes using performance-enhancing drugs in recent months, according to the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
Hours before the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games, Rogge said the IOC’s efforts for a clean Olympics were bearing fruit. On Wednesday nine track and field athletes were handed lengthy bans by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for doping violations.
Separately, women's 1,500 metres medal contender Mariem Alaoui Selsouli of Morocco and Greece's world indoor high jump champion Dimitris Chondrokoukis were also confirmed to have tested positive this week before arriving in London.
"This is a good sign for the fight against doping," Rogge announced. "This is proof that the system is working and is effective."
The nine athletes, including leading marathon runner Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri, were all caught by the IAAF with the aid of the Athlete Biological Passport programme which tracks athletes' blood data over time to note any abnormalities. Rogge said while not all sports could immediately benefit from this system due to their nature, he would like the programme to be extended.
"It is a fact that there is no blood passport in all sports. It is also true, however, that blood profile is a powerful tool that has to expand and reach more countries," said Rogge, an advocate of zero tolerance for doping offenders.
"I am happy that the blood profile has led to positive tests. It is a powerful deterrent."
There will be around 6,250 samples analysed at the Games, more than any other Olympics, while UK Anti-Doping has also been mandated to test in pre-competition training camps. There were 20 proven cases of doping at the Beijing Games four years ago, including six horses, down from 26 cases in Athens in 2004.