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Olympic Committee approves drugs test for Sydney athletes

Olympic Committee to start drugs tests on September 2 Keystone

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne has approved a blood-urine test for detecting the performance-enhancing drug, EPO. The IOC plans to start testing competitors ahead of the Sydney Olympics.

The combined blood-urine test, developed by French and Australian scientists, was given the green light by the IOC’s executive board on Monday. The decision comes a month after a panel of scientists and doping experts approved the test.

The IOC plans to conduct 300 tests for EPO on September 2, when competitors start arriving at the Olympic village. Athletes will have to undergo both blood and urine tests, and both will have to be positive before sanctions are threatened.

EPO was originally developed to treat kidney disease, but became increasingly popular among endurance athletes such as cyclists and long distance runners and swimmers.

The executive board also narrowed down the list of contenders to host the 2008 Olympics. The contest will be fought out by Beijing, Toronto, Osaka, Paris and Istanbul.

Bangkok, Havana, Seville, Kuala Lumpur and Cairo failed to make the next stage of the bidding process.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR