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Customs offers full cooperation to AOC to clear Olympic drug taint.

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Media Release


Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for Western Australia

E96/04 13 July 2004

Customs offers full cooperation to AOC to clear Olympic drug taint

The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, has today advised the President of the Australian Olympic Committee, Mr John Coates, that the Australian Customs Service will cooperate fully in relation to investigations into drug imports by any current or past Australian Olympic athletes.

Mr Coates wrote to Senator Ellison yesterday requesting that Customs cooperate with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to search its records to determine whether it holds any information about current and past Olympic athletes connecting them with drug imports.

“The CEO of the Australian Customs Service, Mr Lionel Woodward, has told me that Customs will cooperate fully in this exercise,” Senator Ellison said.

“The Australian Government believes the Australian public would expect all steps possible should be taken to ensure Australia’s elite athletes are free of the taint of drugs,” he said.

“I understand that there has already been discussion between Customs and the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) and scrutiny of Customs records is now being undertaken based on information received mid-morning from ASDA and supplemented by information from the AOC.”

In accordance with the legal requirements and protocol settled in 2000, Customs will advise ASDA and the Australian Sports Commission of any outcome.

“Customs will move as a matter of urgency to examine records pertaining to athletes competing in the Athens Olympics and subsequently examine the details of competitors in previous Olympics,” Senator Ellison said.

“It is crucial that authorities move speedily on this in light of the clear expectations of the Australian public.”

Media Inquiries: Simon Troeth (02) 6277 7260/(0439) 300 335