THE SIDELINES : Drug Evidence Ignored, Panel Told

From Times wire services

Top track and field officials had proof several months before the 1988 Olympics that Canadian athletes were taking steroids, but did nothing, a federal inquiry on drugs in amateur sports was told today.

Steven Findlay, a staff member of the Canadian Track and Field Assn., testified he told association President Wilf Wedman in February, 1988, that he had proof of steroid use among the country's top sprinters. His evidence was based on a statement by decathlete Dave Steen that he had been offered steroids by Ben Johnson's doctor, Jamie Astaphan. Findlay testified Steen also told him that Astaphan admitted he was injecting sprinter Angela Issajenko with steroids.

But Wedman, who left the association in early 1988, said the evidence was not enough and refused to even acknowledge the growing problem of drugs in amateur sport, Findlay said.

Wedman is scheduled to take the witness stand next month.

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