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Not At Our Games

U.S. officials announced Monday that when the Olympic games come to Salt Lake City in two years, an American agency will run the drug-screening program instead of Olympic or sports federation officials, reports CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen.

That means that at the 2002 winter games, U.S. drug-testers will decide who stays and who gets sent home.

It is the latest salvo in a long-running war or words between American and international officials over how to drive doping out of Olympic sports.

The announcement, made in Sydney, came as Olympic officials announced that another athlete in Sydney had tested positive for drug use, the fifth so far.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala said the decision to wrest control of drug testing from the International Olympic Committee was motivated by a desire that the games held on U.S. soil be the cleanest ever.

"We want to send a message that this is not acceptable, that everybody doesn't do it, and that you're risking everything if you do," Shalala said. "We need to clean up this in international athletics if we're going to have an effect on young people. This is a public health issue."

The U.S. will spend millions developing drug detection tests. Officials view it as an investment in fighting drug use they say is alarmingly widespread.

Down On Doping
The IOC's anti-doping policy is three-pronged.

It prohibits:

1) The use of performance-enhancing substances:

  • stimulants, such as cocaine
  • narcotics, including morphine
  • anabolic steroids like testosterone
  • diuretics
  • peptide hormones, like insulin

    2) Blood Doping—the use of blood, blood cells or blood products—and Pharmacological, Chemical and Physical Manipulation, which is essentially doing anything to mask drug use.

    3) The use of other drugs, like ethanol, marijuana, local anesthetics and costeroids.

    Click here to read the IOC's Medical Code.

    (Source: IOC)

  • "It's become now a real threat to the integrity of sport, not just in international, elite competition, but, you know, we're seeing perormance-enhancing drugs in little league baseball and high school diving," said Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the National Office of Drug Policy.

    As the U.S. made the announcement, IOC officials said blood tests on a Romanian gymnast showed she had used banned substances found in cough syrup. She has been stripped of her gold medal.

    However, the U.S. is also the target of accusations that it has turned a blind eye to drug use.

    Sydney was rocked Monday by news C.J. Hunter—an American shot-putter who is not competing in the games but is coaching his wife, sprinter Marion Jones—tested positive for steroid use at a July event.

    And the International Olympic Committee's drug czar accused U.S. track and field officials of covering up positive drug tests before the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He said some of the athletes who tested positive may have won medals during the games.

    The pharmacy of banned drugs is large. EPO, which increases blood cell production, is popular among competitors in endurance events. This year, for the first time, there is a test for it.

    But there's no test for substances like Hemo-Pure, a drug used by veterinarians to add oxygen to the blood of animals, or Human Growth Hormone, known as HGH, which builds muscles the way steroids do.

    Because the IOC can't test for those substances, Olympic critics scoff at the IOC's anti-drug efforts in Sydney.

    Andrew Jennings, an investigative reporter who has studied doping by Olympians, said "Athletes will smirk from the podium having taken HGH knowing we can't catch them and they got their golds by cheating."

    However, as the U.S. announced their plans for 2002, USA Track & Field faced questions about what it did in 1988.

    Prince Alexandre de Merode, the IOC's drug czar, on Monday accused American track and field officials of covering up five positive drug tests before the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He said some of the athletes who tested positive may have won medals during the games.

    The U.S. Olympic Committee responded that there were actually eight cases 12 years ago, noting the athletes involved were cleared because they inadvertently used the drug, ephedrine, in an herb supplement called Ma huang.

    But Johann Olav Koss, a Norwegian speedskating gold medallist who is now an IOC member, agreed with de Merode.

    "The athletes feel that the (International Amateur Athletic Federation) and USA Track & Field are covering up and have special rules for American athletes," Koss said.