Canada police can do drug raids at Games villages-Pound

Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:47pm EST
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By Allan Dowd and Steve Keating

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada has all the legal power it needs to enforce anti-doping rules in athlete villages for next year's Winter Olympics, including authorizing police raids, Vancouver Olympics official Dick Pound said on Monday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been working with organizers of the 2010 Games and Canadian law enforcement officials on a protocol on sharing information to combat use of banned performance enhancing drugs.

Canada does not have specific laws dealing with athletes' use of performance enhancing drugs, which has raised questions about police being able to conduct raids in athlete villages, such as those conducted by authorities at the 2006 Turin Games.

Pound, former head of the World Anti-Doping Commission and a board member of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC), said police tipped off with evidence could conduct raids as long as they had obtained a warrant from a judge.

"The police have all the necessary powers to investigate trafficking and possession and things like that in relation to those substances," Pound told Reuters.

"You provide (police) with a statement we are in possession of this evidence and on the basis of that we believe there are infractions going on involving drugs A, B and C and it is team X doing that.

"The (police) would probably take that to a judge and say we believe this is sufficient ground to issue a warrant."

'NO EMBASSY BUBBLE'   Continued...