WASHINGTON (AP) _ An independent commission concluded Wednesday that U.S. Track & Field did not intentionally cover up athletes' positive drug tests but did not follow procedures and was slow to inform authorities about violators.

The commission, created after doping controversies at last summer's Olympics in Sydney, sharply criticized USATF for not following procedures designed to promptly identify athletes who used performance-enhancing steroids or other banned drugs.

``Although the commission's own inquiry determined that no positive drug tests were in fact 'covered up,' USATF itself did not receive audit reports that were intended to account for every positive drug test, thereby failing to use a tool it had created to help ensure the integrity of its program,'' the Independent International Review Commission reported.