Monday, October 09, 2006

Olympics - Pound tells China to tighten doping efforts - Monday October 9, 2006 12:12PM - Olympics - Pound tells China to tighten doping efforts - Monday October 9, 2006 12:12PM: "Dick Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, encouraged China to step up its anti-doping controls ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

China has a special responsibility as Olympic host to tighten its anti-doping efforts, Pound said Monday.

'Much of my visit here in China will be for the purpose of encouraging the proper authorities, in both sport and government, to increase the effort to bring China to the forefront of the fight against doping in sport,' Pound said in a speech at Beijing's Sport University.

China is trying to shake a reputation for doping among its athletes, a drive that has gained urgency ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

China cracked down on doping following a string of scandals in the 1990s, when 32 swimmers were caught for drug offenses, two of them twice. It introduced tough new testing regimes and penalties, and 17 athletes were punished in 2004 with fines and competition bans of up to two years.

'An Olympic host country has the special responsibility, both at home and around the world, to demonstrate its commitment to doping-free sport,' said Pound, who also visited the testing labs at the China Doping Control Center. 'Now is the time for all countries, including China, to make sure that they have put into place programs necessary to remove doping from sport.'

Pound was given an honorary degree by the university on Monday. He arrived in China on Sunday for a four-day visit.

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