U.S. Olympic Leaders Accused of Doping

ByABC News
July 18, 2000, 2:10 PM

D E N V E R, July 18 -- U.S. Olympic leaders have been accused by their former doping chief of hampering his fight against drugs anddenying him promotions and opportunities because he is black.

A 30-page complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court inDenver by Dr. Wade Exum claims the U.S. Olympic Committee evadedits responsibility to screen and discipline athletes for drugs inits quest to produce medal-winners.

Although no athletes are identified, the lawsuit says Exum knowsof competitors who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugsin the Olympic trials and went on to win medals at the OlympicGames.

Repeating claims he made when he resigned in protest last month,Exum says in the lawsuit that about half the American athletes whohave tested positive for prohibited substances have goneunpunished.

USOC chief executive officer Norm Blake criticized the timing ofthe lawsuit, filed less than two months before the start of the2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, because it raisesunwarranted allegations that tarnish the reputation of American athletes.

Allegations Unsubstantiated

In a prepared statement, Blake said USOC officials receivedExums lawsuit Monday afternoon and have not been able to review itin depth yet. But he said Exums previous allegations have not beensubstantiated.

We will continue to work with our outside counsel to evaluatewhat possible legal remedy and actions we might take, if any,Blake said.

In the lawsuit, Exum claims his anti-drug efforts werewillfully and repeatedly undermined by the committees unwillingness to adopt an anti-doping program that had any real probability of preventing athletic doping and protecting the health and well-being of American athletes.

The USOCs real interest is procuring gold medalists whoperform not just superbly, but who realize superhumanachievements, the suit claims, adding that the USOC knows that to achieve these superhuman records, doping must occur.