Betting the Pharmacy

Rx gains in the race against drugs in sports

Still, at the same time IOC vice president Anita DeFrantz cites the Olympic athlete's oath of integrity, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates was forced to defend his anti-drug proposal that any athletes found trafficking in large amounts of drugs be jailed and that criminal charges be brought against athletes found using doping substances. At the same Seoul conference where IOC officials chided MLB for not banning andro, they also warned Australia against taking a hard-line stance on performance drugs, even though, already, the 2000 Sydney Olympics are being forecast as the most drug-driven of all time. The taint could jeopardize corporate sponsorship, and there's even mumbling about removing the dirtiest sports, like cycling, from the Games, further entrenching the growing anomie.

The International Drug Summit is scheduled for January in Lausanne, but, as it stands, only the most egregious offenders are getting caught. Ben Johnson told the Toronto Globe and Mail that 80 percent of the top track athletes use substances to boost performances. "There will always be someone out there doing something," he says, "and it will be going on and on and on and on." And on.

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