Olympic Games - IOC president calls for new testing methods

New testing methods are required to strengthen the fight against doping in sport, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday as he compared drug cheating to terrorism.

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach addresses the 44th plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (Reuters)

"We need even more specifically targeted tests and more scientific research. We have to focus on more anti-doping research," Bach said on the opening day of the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

"In this area we should be open to new ways of thinking.

"Is it not time to find out for example whether blood and urine tests are really the best and ultimate solution? Might there be other testing methods that are even more reliable, sustainable and effective and maybe even less intrusive?

"Even a much improved code is not enough in itself," he told some 1000 delegates beginning final deliberations before agreeing a new World Anti-Doping Code on Friday.

Bach said concerns over costs should not stop more investment in anti-doping measures.

"We should not argue that one positive test costs several hundred thousand dollars," said the new IOC chief.

"That would be like saying a terrorist attack at an airport costs us so many millions of dollars because the fight against doping is like security measures and it is also about deterrents and prevention. Our security measures and so our tests must be improved still more."

Bach said IOC would be spending more than $1 million on vigorous pre-competition testing before next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi and "many millions of dollars more" at the Games.

"We shall be smarter and tougher than at any previous Olympic Games," Bach added.

"To be very clear, these millions of dollars are not expense but rather an investment into the future of our sport.

"The future of sport will gratefully depend on our success in this fight against doping or any kind of manipulation and related corruption. We have to protect the clean athletes. We want to ensure a fair competition."

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