The Olympics

The Olympics

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News, information and stories about the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Italy To Relax Drug Laws

Good news for all of those Olympic athletes, who need a little chemical stimulus to help them achieve their peak performance, it seems that the Italian government will relax their drug laws for the duration of the Winter Olympics in Turin.

This decision has been greeted with much relief by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), as they had visions of their prized athletes being arrested and jailed for drugs offences.

Jailed athletes are not very good for the Olympic brand, or for the lucrative sponsorship deals that the IOC lives off.

The IOC rules allow athletes to be disqualified for doping offences, but not arrested. The Italian law, unamended, was far stricter; doped athletes would have faced prison sentences of up to 3 years.

Additionally, the Italian health ministry earlier this month had given its anti-doping commission full responsibility for dope testing at all international competitions in Italy.

That would have meant that a body that would not be swayed by the IOC or Italian government would have been in charge of testing; something that the IOC could never have tolerated.

Mario Pescante, Italy's under-secretary for sport and supervisor for the Winter Olympics, said that a deal had been made with the IOC over doping.

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"We've reached an agreement, which has been approved by the president of the IOC. Italian law will be respected with regards to penal sanctions, but at the same time we will be guided by Wada's list of banned substances."

The agreement includes the setting up of a task force to ensure a good compromise between Italian law and IOC rules. The task force will include IOC members, Wada officials and representatives of games organiser Toroc.

So there you have it, Italian law has been compromised; because Olympic athletes, and their sponsorship contracts, are above the law!

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