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'Drug cheats won't be spared'

"Our message to any athlete foolish enough to go down that path, you will get caught," said Commonwealth Games chief Executive Hooper.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 15:08 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Drug cheats competing at this month's Melbourne Commonwealth Games will be caught by the largest testing program in the event's history, Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said on Monday.

"Our message to any athlete foolish enough to attempt to go down that path and run the risk, you will get caught," Hooper said.

"This is the most comprehensive programme we have ever had in place. It will be the largest number of tests ever undertaken.

"There will be (blood testing). I'm not going to tell you how many, but there will be as well as normal urine." Hooper said the program would be more comprehensive than at the 2002 Manchester Games where four athletes were caught using performance-enhancing substances.

He would not say how far testers would go to catch cheats but said the World Anti Doping Agency would throw its weight behind the programs and cheats would not win medals.

"The reality is that WADA and the work they are doing are keeping up," Hooper said.

"As fast as they do find new methods, be it blood doping or another measure, the system is keeping up.

"It is a sad indictment that some athletes still to this day despite education choose to run the risk of doping. If they risk it here they will be caught."

Meanwhile, the medals for which athletes will compete in Melbourne were unveiled at a ceremony on Monday.

The gold, silver and bronze medals beat the heraldic and iconic emblem of the Commonwealth Games Federation on the front and a design on the back which uses elements of the Melbourne 2006 identity, featuring halo lines and the words humanity, equality and destiny.

The City of Ballarat supplied the gold, BHP Billiton the silver and the Royal Australian Mint the bronze.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 12:28 IST