Europeans Join IOC’s Drug Agency
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ The European Union is ready to participate in the IOC’s drug agency that is to start next week.
U.S. drug adviser Barry McCaffrey opposes the IOC plan, contending the agency would lack full independence and input from governments.
The 15-nation EU agreed to take part after its sports commissioner Viviane Reding met with IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch on Tuesday.
The agency is to supervise worldwide drug testing and policy and be operating by Jan. 1. The IOC says it will hold only three of what are expected to be 24 seats on the executive board.
The agency is to adopt a list of banned substances, establish accreditation for drug laboratories, set testing methods and coordinate out-of-competition testing with sports federations.
The United States wants a drug agency that is not tied to the IOC. Samaranch and Reding said the door remained open for the Americans to be part of the IOC agency, but they did not say how that might happen.
``I think the agency without the United States would not be complete,″ Reding said. ``We do not want any federation or any group of countries to be left out.″
The EU and IOC agreed the agency should be set up on an ``equal basis″ with governments and sports organizations contributing an equal number of representatives to the board of directors.
``The IOC is not alone in this structure,″ Reding said.
However, the EU wants the drug agency moved from the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne. A permanent home for the agency isn’t expected until the spring.
In addition to Lausanne, there are seven candidates: Athens, Greece; Bonn, Germany; Lille, France; Lisbon, Portugal; Luxembourg; Madrid, Spain; and Vienna, Austria.