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WADA's Fahey Says HGH Test In Beijing Will Deter Drug Cheats

Fahey Says WADA Will Have Effective
HGH Test At Beijing Olympics
New WADA President John Fahey yesterday predicted that the Beijing Olympics would be the "most effective yet in tackling cheats, thanks in part to the first effective test for [HGH]," according to Paul Kelso of the Manchester GUARDIAN. HGH is "thought to be the drug of choice," as it has been undetectable 24 hours after it was taken, but WADA said that the new test "has an effective window of more than two days." However, Fahey "acknowledged the scale of his task yesterday when he admitted that, in common with the other war on drugs, victory is improbable." Fahey: "The fight is more than likely never going to be won." But Fahey added, "The public are sick and tied of cheats. I think the opportunity we have right now is second to none. People are sick of the Marion Joneses. They want to pay their money to see a contest that is a true contest. There is enormous public support for us to succeed and that leads to more assistance coming from various sources. We have to inculcate young people with the belief that if they want to play sport they have to play it within the rules embodied in sport, and that includes fair play" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 2/28).

A LITTLE HELP: Fahey said that WADA's annual $25M budget is "not adequate to address all the agency's activities," and he encouraged governments to "increase their financial contributions to further the success of WADA's fight against doping initiatives."  Fahey noted that since '01, the organization has only "been able to commit" $31M to research. He indicated that he "wants to replicate a U.S. initiative," as the USOC and the USADA have partnered with major sports to contribute $10M for "advancing WADA's research projects." Fahey also urged governments to "accelerate their ratification of the UNESCO convention against doping in sport, which allows them to adopt WADA's doping code." Under the revised anti-doping code, the IOC will accept Olympic bids only from those countries whose governments have adopted the convention and whose "national bodies comply with the code" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 2/27).

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