[Cevdopagem] Row over Turin doping tests/Armstrong in talks about movie on his life

Ana Teresa Guazzelli Beltrami aninhabeltrami em hotmail.com
Terça Janeiro 17 12:08:14 BRST 2006

Row over Turin doping tests

A top health ministry official threatened on Friday to send police to 
conduct drug tests on athletes during next month's Turin Olympics, amid a 
worsening row over how to apply Italy's anti-doping law at the games.

The Italian health ministry insists that the law, which calls for criminal 
penalties for sports doping, allows it to administer tests at all sports 
events, despite previous statements by government and Olympic officials that 
the International Olympic Committee would oversee testing during the Feb. 
10-26 games.

''We intend to follow the law,'' Health Undersecretary Cesare Cursi said, 
adding, ''And if there isn't an understanding, we'll send the Carabinieri 
(paramilitary police) to conduct tests.''

The long-contended issue seemed resolved last month when the games 
government supervisor, Mario Pescante, arranged a solution keeping the law 
in place but putting the IOC in charge of testing. Under the deal, the 
procedures would be delegated to Turin organizers and the World Anti-Doping 
Agency (WADA).

But a decree quietly issued by the ministry last week gives its anti-doping 
commission responsibility for testing at all national and international 
competitions in Italy.

Cursi said that IOC and WADA rules on doping are ''codes of conduct'' and 
that the ministry wanted to conduct its own tests at the Olympics to ensure 
that the law was respected.

''Who is WADA? Who recognizes it at a national level? We are an institution 
taking steps to enforce the law, codes of conduct are another thing,'' he 

Calls to Pescante's office and to his spokesman's cell phone went unanswered 
Friday evening.

Under IOC rules, athletes can be disqualified and stripped of their medals 
but face no criminal liability.

During a meeting of the government's anti-doping commission Friday, some 
members ''expressed perplexity'' at the decree, Cursi said. ''But it's not 
up to them to evaluate a political decision.''

The issue also came up during Friday's cabinet meeting, with the government 
deciding to create a technical panel including the health ministry and the 
culture ministry, which includes sports, as well as officials from the 
Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

CONI has called the ministry's decree ''illegitimate'' because it violates 
both Italy's agreement with the IOC and an opinion issued by a government 
legal panel last month.

The decree also creates ''confusion'' because it presents the possibility of 
more than one body administering tests during the Olympics, CONI has said. 
It also maintains that, under Italian law, non-Italian athletes face no 
penalties if they refuse to be tested by the health ministry's anti-doping 

But Cursi rejected that interpretation.

''Foreign athletes cannot refuse. If they are in Italy they are subject to 
all tests for athletes and non-athletes,'' Cursi said, adding that athletes 
who test positive will be prosecuted under the law.

CONI refused to comment on Cursi's statements. It said it was confident the 
discussions initiated by the Cabinet would resolve the issue but also warned 
it will go to the courts to have the decree canceled if no solution is 


Armstrong in talks about movie on his life
Agence France Presse English
Mon 16 Jan 2006
Section: Sports

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16 (AFP) - America's seven-time Tour de France champion 
Lance Armstrong has told a South African newspaper that he is in talks on a 
movie about his life.

Armstrong, 34, is due to travel to South Africa on Wednesday accompanied by 
his fiancee rock star Sheryl Crow for a first visit that will include a tour 
of Soweto, the township that was the center of anti-apartheid resistance.

In an interview to The Sunday Times, Armstrong said that Matt Damon was 
favored to play Armstrong who survived a bout of testicular cancer.

"Matt's somebody I've known for a few years and is willing to play the 
part," Armstrong said. "He can dig into it on the athletic side and the 
illness side, but he'll also look and ride and feel like a professional 

Armstrong has been embroiled in a row over allegations in the French 
newspaper L'Equipe claiming that he took blood-booster EPO during his first 
Tour win in 1999.

The cyclist has vehemently denied the claims and said he is the victim of a 
French smear campaign.

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