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EPO test method sound for Games.

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12 September 2000           00/401

EPO TEST METHOD SOUND FOR GAMES Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly, today praised Australia's contribution to the EPO Test for the Sydney Games. 

"The EPO test is a significant scientific achievement for the Australian and French scientists involved in its development. It represents leading-edge science and places the scientists of the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory at the forefront of drug testing research," Minister Kelly said. 

"For the IOC, the adoption of this test is ground-breaking. It's the first time an officially sanctioned blood test is being used as part of the IOC's drug-testing program at an Olympic Games. Blood testing will now be a permanent feature of elite sport."  

The Minister said that criticism of the test did not appreciate the wider legal or strategic context in which the test has to operate. 

"Because it's a new test, the IOC has soundly taken a cautious approach. The test needs to be legally watertight against any appeals. This point was made by the panel of independent experts that assessed the test," Minister Kelly said. 

The EPO test is part of a broader drug-testing strategy adopted by sport and governments. As part of this strategy, The IOC is undertaking pre-Games testing for the first time. In addition the World Anti-Doping Agency is conducting extensive out-of-competition testing.  

"Key elements of the test are that it is applied out-of-competition and it's done without notice. Athletes can be tested well ahead of their event," Minister Kelly said. 

"We have come a long way in a short time but there is still much to do. Following

the Sydney Games, further research will continue on EPO testing to refine it. The test will be extended to national and international out-of-competition testing programs. EPO will end up on the rubbish heap of successfully outlawed drugs. This is the quantum leap in the pursuit of drug free sport." 

Media Contact: Drew Clarke 0418 498 810 Sam Spurrett 0417 033 876


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