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Rogge on 2012 doping

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Thursday January 26, 2012

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has admitted that he expects some athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs at the London Olympics.

Measures such as state-of-the-art laboratories and a 10% increase in the number of drugs tests, compared with four years ago in Beijing, will be used to catch those attempting to cheat.

“There have been positive cases in each Olympic games since we have started testing,” Rogge told BBC Sport. “To say there will be no positive cases would be naive and misleading. I hope it’s the case, but reality tells me that there may be positive cases.”

Rogge added: “Everything that is humanly possible has been done in London to minimise doping. We hope that it will be the lowest possible number and we do everything we can to protect clean athletes.

“I think athletes are cheating because they believe that the others cheat. If they could live in the belief that the others are not cheating, they will not cheat themselves.”

The IOC president has suffered recent disappointment in the on-going fight against athletes found guilty of cheating Beijing Olympic champion LaShawn Merrit, who was found guilt of doping in 2009 and subsequently served a two-year ban from athletics, won an appeal in October against the International Olympic Committee who were attempting to block him from competing in London 2012.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that preventing the American from competing in the Olympics went beyond the Word Anti-Doping Agency sanctions of a maximum two-year ban and in essence would have been a second punishment for a single offence.

“We are disappointed because we really wanted to have as clean as possible games,” reflected Rogge. “But you know we have created the Court of Arbitration ourselves, so we are going to respect their judgements. Not happy, but we respect the advice.”

We have a moral responsibility towards the parents and especially the mothers, because if they don’t think we will do everything to protect the health of their children they will not send them any more to sports clubs – so we have to protect the young athletes

The British Olympic Association (BOA) have their own hearing with CAS next month when their current bylaw, banning cheats like Dwain Chambers and David Millar from Olympic Games for life, will be challenged. A recent poll of British athletes suggested that around 90% wanted those who had been caught to remain banned for life.

“This is a decision by lawyers, by jury and we have to respect the law,” Rogge told the BBC. “There’s no choice. Whether we like it or not is irrelevant.

“I feel comforted by the position of the athletes, which is exactly the same as ours, but there is a respect of the rule of the law.”

Rogge was speaking at the Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, also attended by BOA chief executive Andy Hunt.

Commenting on the case, Hunt feels that the BOA had a ‘good chance’ of success, although it would not be a massive blow if they failed. “We have actually stood up for clean sport,” Hunt told BBC Sport.

“I’m really proud, regardless of the outcome of what we have done in standing up for clean sport.”

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