As the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney are set to begin, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) prepares to take over the responsibilities for the anti-doping program for U.S. Olympic athletes. USADA officially begins operation October 1 with full authority for testing, education, research and adjudication for U.S. Olympic athletes.
USADA is sending key representatives to Sydney to observe the programs of the Australian Sport Drug Agency (ASDA), the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). USADA representatives include Larry D. Bowers, PhD, Senior Managing Director Technical and Information Resources; Frank Shorter, Chair, Board of Directors; and Terry Madden, CEO. The goal of sending USADA representatives is to learn and experience Olympic testing operations in an effort to improve the national anti-doping program.
Bowers has been appointed to WADA’s Independent Observer team to oversee the testing at the Sydney Games. His role will be to verify that sample collection, testing and adjudication activities are appropriately followed.
“Larry’s selection as an independent observer for WADA speaks to his international credibility and expertise,” said Shorter. “With Larry’s leadership, USADA will establish a program for the United States that sets a new international standard for doping control.”
Frank Shorter has been credentialed by NBC as the announcer for marathon coverage, and as an advisor for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. As an Olympian, Shorter was the 1972 gold medalist in the marathon, and is a strong voice for athletes in the fight against doping in sport.
Madden has been credentialed as an observer with the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee (SLOC) and will accompany representatives of the SLOC Doping Control Program as they prepare for testing during the scheduled test events and the 2002 Games.
“These games are an opportune time for USADA to develop international partnerships with drug testing authorities from around the world,” said Madden. “There is so much we can learn from and share with other drug testing agencies in the fight against doping in sport. It is critical that we all work together.”
The Sydney Games will be marked by the largest drug-testing program in the 104-year history of the Olympics. ASDA authorities have said at least 3,100 tests under three programs run by ASDA, the IOC and WADA will be conducted before the Games begin on September 15.
In addition to preparing for Sydney, USADA has begun work in other program areas. To launch its research initiatives, USADA has organized a research summit comprised of a national and international panel of scientists and doping control experts for October 20 and 21 in Denver, Colorado to establish a research agenda for the Agency. USADA has already partnered with the UCLA Olympic Laboratory and the IOC to fund a research project, headed by Don Catlin, PhD, into alternative tests for detecting EPO.
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