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Agency to Review Banned Substances

September 18, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan paid a heavy price for listening to her doctor and taking a common cold tablet during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She was stripped of a gold medal.

Athletes who did little more than drink too much coffee often ended up similarly disgraced -- or suspended.

Such disqualifications would end under a proposed new list of banned substances drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency, Associated Press reported Wednesday.

One key recommendation calls for caffeine and pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in Sudafed and other over-the-counter cold remedies, to be removed from the banned category, along with phenylpropanolamine, another minor stimulant found in cold medicines.

Cannabis, or marijuana, would remain on the banned list. Modafinil, the medication that could cost American sprinter Kelli White two world championship gold medals, would be listed by name for the first time among banned stimulants.

After more than two years of research, analysis and debate, experts have prepared an all-encompassing list of prohibited steroids, stimulants, blood-boosters, narcotics and other drugs.

Details of the proposed list were disclosed by Arne Ljungqvist, the Swedish anti-doping official who heads WADA's medical research committee.

"We must adjust our list to modern thinking and to changes of attitude and changes of knowledge," said Ljungqvist, who is also head of the medical commissions of the International Olympic Committee and International Assn. of Athletics Federations, the governing body for track and field.

The list must still be approved by the doping agency's executive committee, which meets Monday and Tuesday in Montreal.

WADA chief Dick Pound said he would support a continued ban on marijuana but declined comment on changes for caffeine and pseudoephedrine.

"It's not right for me as chairman to anticipate what the executive committee may decide," he said. "The list is proposed for discussion and we haven't discussed it yet. I don't know enough about it."

WADA has set a deadline of Oct. 1 for final ratification of the list, which would go into effect Jan. 1.

Miscellany

Long-awaited escape hatches NASCAR has developed to give drivers a quicker exit from wrecked cars can be used in races by Winston Cup teams starting Sept. 28.

The roof hatch, which will allow drivers another route of escape in case fire or crash damage blocks their traditional window exit, was developed at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.

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The salaries of Miami Heat employees will be cut 10% this season, a reduction that excludes the players but includes team President and Coach Pat Riley. The reductions will allow the organization to avoid layoffs. Riley's annual salary is estimated at $5 million.

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World Boxing Council super featherweight youth champion "Mighty" Mike Anchondo and junior welterweight prospect Juan "Pollo" Valenzuela will be the featured fighters at an HBO Latino-televised six-bout card tonight at Santa Ana Stadium.

Tickets, priced from $20 to $65, go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Santa Ana Stadium box office. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the televised portion of the card beginning at 7.

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