• Athletics

IOC president issues doping warning for Sochi teams

ESPN staff
November 22, 2013
Bach announced further doping measures are to be discussed by the IOC © AP

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has warned Olympic committees to weed out drugs cheats before February's Winter Games in Sochi, and that a positive test would taint the image of a whole team.

Pre-competition testing for the Sochi Games, which runs between February 2 and 23 next year, has been increased by 57% - while overall tests will be up 40% from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Bach praised last week's change in ban lengths by the World Anti-Doping Agency and announced that further anti-doping measures will be discussed by the IOC in December.

But Bach, who succeeded Jacques Rogge 10 weeks ago, is not resting on his laurels, believes it is in every competing team's best interests to make sure they arrive in Sochi with clean athletes only.

Bach told the European Olympic Committees general assembly: "Please, speak with your national anti-doping agencies. Speak with your governments. Speak with your national federations. And perform pre-competition testing and make sure that you, as national Olympic committees, that you can be proud of your team in the end.

"You can win as many medals as you want in the Olympic Games. But if you have a doping case by one of your successful athletes, the image of your team is tainted. ... So it is in your own interest to arrive in Sochi with clean athletes."

"So we really want to make a great effort with regard to anti-doping with quantity and - even more important - quality. We will have more targeted tests, based on profiles and intelligence we get from national anti-doping agencies, federations and NOCs."

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