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Monday, August 14, 2000
All but three sports sign up

 LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency criticized three sports Monday for failing to join its program of unannounced, out-of-competition drug tests in the runup to the Sydney Olympics.

 The agency said the holdouts by gymnastics, modern pentathlon and volleyball placed an "unnecessary stigma of suspicion" on their competitors.

 Fourteen of the 25 federations that have signed up had to amend their drug control policies to do so, the Agency said.

 The Agency, created last year to coordinate a worldwide testing campaign for banned performance-enhancing drugs, said it so far has conducted 680 tests and plans to carry out another 1,250 before the Olympics open Sept. 15.

 That will bring it to 90 per cent of the goal of 2,150 before the start of the Games.

 "The implementation of the other 10 per cent of the tests relies on the willingness of the three federations that have yet to agree to submit to the independent doping control program," WADA said.

 Two federations -- the International Gymnastics Federation and the International Modern Pentathlon Union -- have so far refused to submit to the Agency program.

 A third, the International Volleyball Federation, "has delayed negotiations so long as to risk the implementation of a viable out-of-competition testing program in its sport before the Olympic Games," the Agency said.

 Canadian Dick Pound, the International Olympic Committee vice-president who chairs the Agency, called on athletes to urge the three federations to change their stance.

 "It is unfortunate that athletes competing in the ... three sports may be regarded with suspicion as a result of the refusal of their international federations to participate in the program," Pound said. "This is an unfair burden for them to carry."
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