WADA demands full disclosure of investigation
CANBERRA, Australia -- The World Anti-Doping Agency wants more information on the drug-use investigation of five Australian cyclists.
WADA President Dick Pound said he may write to Australian Sports Minister Rod Kemp in a bid to force the full release of the investigation, saying keeping the results secret was not conducive to public confidence.
"What's going to happen if some of these people go to Athens as part of the your Olympic team?" he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio Wednesday.
"Australians are going to wonder whether or not they have sent athletes who are guilty of doping offenses. The rest of the world is going to say how is it that Australia deals with all these things in secret."
Pound said Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission should have gone public the moment they learned of cyclist Mark French's doping allegations.
He rejected Cycling Australia's claim it could not release the report for confidentiality reasons.
"We are getting the same answer that everybody else is getting that no we are not prepared to make it available," Pound said. "We have spoken with people in Australia and we will follow that up with a letter to the minister if we don't get a satisfactory response."
The report was compiled by retired judge Robert Anderson, who investigated former world champions Graeme Brown, Jobie Dajka, Sean Eadie, Shane Kelly and Brett Lancaster following allegations made by French in the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
French, a former junior world champion now banned from the Olympics for life, claimed the five had injected substances in his room at the Australian Institute of Sport's track cycling headquarters in Adelaide.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said the five could compete at Athens but their selection would be reconsidered if new information emerged.
Mark Peters, chief executive of the Australian Sports Commission, called Pound's comments "ill-informed," adding that Pound should be aware that an appeal from French against his two-year ban was pending and care had to be taken not to prejudice that appeal.
"Had [Pound] checked before making ill-informed media statements, he would have found that WADA has been kept informed of the allegations made against Australian cyclists since the issue arose late last year," Peters said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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