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USOC, Drug Czar At Impasse

The U.S. Olympic Committee and its former drug czar failed to reach a settlement on a job discrimination suit that alleges athletes were not screened or disciplined for drug use.

Lawyers for Dr. Wade Exum and the USOC met for two hours Wednesday in U.S. Magistrate Patricia Coan's courtroom. Neither side would comment on negotiations.

Exum filed a lawsuit in July claiming USOC leaders hampered his anti-drug battle and denied him promotions because he is black. Exum also claimed the USOC evaded its responsibility to screen and discipline athletes for drugs in its quest to win medals.

The USOC has denied those claims. Exum, director of the USOC's Drug Control Administration for nine years, was in court and declined comment.

Exum has said he filed his lawsuit because he wants to push the organization to change. But John McKendree, Exum's attorney, said both parties are ready to discuss a settlement. McKendree did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, several media outlets, including The Associated Press and USA Today, are seeking documents that identify athletes and provide drug test results. Media attorney Thomas B. Kelley, who represents The Associated Press, said the information is used to qualify athletes to compete in events. A hearing date on related matter has not been set.

Exum revealed the existence of those documents during a news conference in July and said they would come out in court.

Without naming names, Exum claimed to know of competitors who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympic trials and went on to win medals at the Olympic Games.

Repeating allegations he made when he resigned in protest in June, Exum said in the lawsuit that about half the American athletes who have tested positive for prohibited substances have gone unpunished.

The USOC is the sole agency that trains athletes and enters teams for the United States in the Olympic and Pan American Games.

©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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