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IOC's Jacques Rogge confident drug cheats will be stamped out in Vancouver

January 14, 2010 |  8:57 am

Rogge International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said today he's confident doping will not be an issue at next month's Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Rogge cited the effectiveness of surprise drug tests during the previous two Winter Olympics and said a similar regimen of surprise tests and police action, when necessary, will be employed in Vancouver.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy for doping," Rogge told the Associated Press from the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. "We are going to continue our policy of unannounced, out-of-competition testing. This is a weapon to trace the cheats. We're also going to store the samples for eight years, like we did in Beijing."

Retroactive tests may be performed on the stored samples if the IOC feels the need to do so. Last year, a new test to detect the blood-boosting drug CERA was administered to samples taken from the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Five athletes were disqualified, including 1,500-meter winner Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain.

The IOC said it would carry out 2,000 doping tests during the Olympics, which run from Feb. 12 to 28. Athletes who appear suspicious could be singled out for additional tests, Rogge said.

"If we see an athlete disappearing out of competition to reappear, we want to know why," he said. "If at a certain moment we see an athlete is augmenting his performance in a way that is not very natural ... we are going to target this or that athlete."

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Jacques Rogge. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP/Getty Images