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Copyright 2000 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.  
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

June 15, 2000, Thursday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION

SECTION: NEWS, Pg. A8

LENGTH: 392 words

HEADLINE: U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE DRUG-CONTROL CHIEF RESIGNS;
OFFICIALS ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO STOP ATHLETES FROM CHEATING, HE SAYS

BYLINE: Andrew A. Skolnick; Special To The Post-Dispatch

BODY:
Just three months before the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia, the U.S. Olympic Committee's drug chief has resigned - accusing the organization of not doing enough to stop athletes from using drugs to cheat.

Citing interference with his drug-control efforts and political pressure from his bosses, Dr. Wade Exum, the chief of the committee's drug-control program, quit in protest after nine years in the job.

The committee's actions can only be "interpreted as encouraging the doping of athletes without considering the consequences to their health," Exum said.

Exum, 51, resigned on June 5, after months of internal battles. "The increasingly hostile, racist, threatening, jeopardy-laden and intolerable conditions imposed by this organization has made it unbearable for me to remain," Exum wrote to colleagues in an e-mail last week.

Exum is one of the U.S. Olympic Committee's highest-ranking black staff members.

In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. Olympic Committee denied Exum's accusations and called them "patently false." Committee officials said they would not comment further until they review Exum's resignation and performance.

However, his resignation may not mean much to the long-term future of the Olympic committee's drug-control efforts, because his responsibilities were going to be taken over on Oct. 1 by a new organization, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Following a series of scandals involving athletes caught using performance boosting drugs, both the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee have taken steps to restore confidence in their efforts to prevent doping by their athletes. Both Olympic committees have established what they say are independent agencies to administer their drug-control programs.

The new U.S. agency will create a system that athletes and the public can trust to provide "clean" athletes a level playing field, U.S. Olympic officials say.

But Exum calls the relationship between the new agency and the Olympic committee "incestuous" and at least some other anti-doping authorities are questioning whether the new agency will be truly independent.

The anti-doping agency recently appointed Terry Madden as its chief executive. Prior to this appointment, Madden was chief of staff for U.S. Olympic Committee President Bill Hybl.    

LOAD-DATE: June 15, 2000




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