August 4, 2006

Rogge calls for greater cooperation in war against drugs

ATHENS (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee
president Jacques Rogge called on Friday for greater
cooperation between governments and sports federations after
two high-profile positive drugs tests by U.S. athletes.

Floyd Landis tested positive for the male sex hormone
testosterone on his way to victory in the Tour de France last
month while Olympic 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin faces a
life ban after a positive test for the same drug.

"We must keep up the fight against doping through
strengthened concerted efforts between governments and the
world of sport," Rogge said in a statement.

"Not only to test athletes but also to educate young people
about the health dangers of doping and the devastating effect
it can have on a person's image and career."

Rogge said "events of recent days are extremely
disappointing in many respects."

"Whilst on the one hand, such revelations make sports
lovers feel understandably deceived, on a more positive note,
every test that catches cheaters demonstrates that increased
testing does have an impact," he said.

Marketing experts have said the Landis and Gatlin cases
could affect sponsorship and marketing money flowing to cycling
and athletics.