Fri, Aug 17, 2007 - Page 23 News List

University Games dope claim denied

AP , BANGKOK

The head of the medical commission at the World University Games has denied an earlier statement that there were positive doping tests at the event.

On Tuesday, Dr Lawrence Rink told reporters that there had been positive drug tests, but would not elaborate on how many athletes were involved or identify them, saying the process would have to be completed with provision for possible appeals.

But Rink told a news conference on Wednesday that "to date, we have absolutely completed 276 tests and I am happy to report that all tests to date are negative."

"I understand that because the process is so technical, there may be some misunderstanding, but again I repeat that there is no positive test. There is clearly no scandal," Rink said. "The laboratory process is a very detailed process and very specific and critical process ... the laboratory we are using here is recognized as one of the best in the world."

He said organizers expect to conduct more than 600 tests up to the final events tomorrow.

"It's only after the appeal process, which can take up to one week to three months -- in some instances if there is a court involved, it might take longer -- can we then truly be sure if it's a positive test," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rink retracted his earlier statement in a telephone call to reporters, saying that he would announce at the later media conference that there were no "confirmed" positive tests.

"The final results were negative," he told reporters ahead of the news conference. "There could have been false positives earlier and in those questionable cases, we do more sensitive tests. The fact is at the end they were all negative tests. I should not have said anything at all."

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