Rogge weighs in on upcoming Beijing Games


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As many as 40 Olympians are likely to test positive for banned substances during the Beijing Games, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has told a European newspaper. Though only 26 were caught during the 2004 Athens Games, Rogge predicted that the number of positive tests will increase because of a tougher Olympic testing regime and improved urinalysis techniques.

“How many positive cases will there be in Beijing? More than in Athens,” Rogge said in the interview published in the weekend edition of De Standaard. “Based on the number of doping tests in Beijing, you can expect 30 to 40 positive cases.”


During the 2000 Sydney Games, Rogge said, 12 positive doping results emerged after 2,500 urine tests. During the Beijing Games, he said, officials will administer 4,500 tests.

Rogge also told the newspaper that he believes the Beijing Games have led to more media and personal freedoms in China, but that the Olympic movement can only do so much. “The IOC is not authorized and has no means to interfere in sovereign matters,” Rogge said. ‘China’s relations with Taiwan, the situation in Tibet, those are matters over which the IOC has no authority and must be addressed by other institutions.”

Rogge said that the Olympics ‘hold up a mirror [and] show what’s happening in the country. We bring the media to the Games. I firmly believe the Games have a positive effect.’

-- Greg Johnson