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Saturday, September 16, 2000
U.S. government pledges $3.3 million for Salt Lake anti-doping program

 SYDNEY (AP) -- The U.S. government will provide $3.3 million to fund anti-doping programs for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

 White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala made the announcement Saturday (Friday night EDT) on the first full day of competition at the Sydney Games.

 "This funding reflects the governmentwide commitment of the United States to protecting the integrity of sports and the safety of athletes, young and old, amateur and elite," McCaffrey said.

 McCaffrey and Frank Shorter, the former marathoner who will head the new U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said they expect a test for human growth hormone -- one of the most widely used performance-enhancers in sports -- to be in place in time for the Salt Lake Games.

 McCaffrey confirmed that the World Anti-Doping Agency had recorded 20 suspected positives among 2,045 out-of-competition tests conducted around the world since April.

 He said the tests were for an "array of illegal substances" but declined to give further details. He said it was up to the individual sports federations to deal with the cases according to their own rules.

 "You've already seen people withdrawing before the Olympics," McCaffrey said. "The deterrent is terrific."

 The White House official praised the International Olympic Committee for instituting a test for the banned endurance-booster EPO in Sydney, but said the system needs to be improved to detect the use of the drug use going back more than a few days.

 "'It is clearly not where we need to be," he said.

 McCaffrey said the Sydney Games mark a turning point in the fight against drugs.

 "This is an era where victories are the product of hard work, dedication and natural talent, not pharmacology," he said. "We owe it to the athletes to build on the successes of Sydney and raise the bar still higher."

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