November 22 - A positive drugs test would overshadow the achievement of any team at Sochi 2014, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach warned here today.
Bach, addressing the 42nd European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly, continued to adopt the hardline to doping he has adopted since replacing Jacques Rogge in September as head of the IOC.
Bach has promised that the anti-doping programme at Sochi 2014 will be the toughest for any Olympics with 57 per cent more tests due to be conducted than Vancouver 2010.
"Please, speak with your national anti-doping agencies," he told delegates from 49 European countries here.
"Speak with your National Federations.
"And perform pre-competition testing and make sure that you, as National Olympic Committees (NOCs), that you can be proud of your team in the end.
"You can win as many medals as you want in the Olympic Games.
"But if you have a doping case by one of your successful athletes, the image of your team is tainted.
"So it is in your own interest to arrive in Sochi with clean athletes."
Since drugs testing was first introduced at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble 1968 a total of 14 athletes have been sanctioned for drugs - all of them European.
At the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver the only athlete caught for doping was Poland's cross-country skier Kornelia Marek, who was banned after testing positive for blood boosting drug erythropoietin (EPO).
The Winter Olympics with the highest number of positive drugs tests was Salt Lake City in 2002 when seven athletes were caught.
These included three gold medallists with the most prominent being Spain's cross-country skier Johann Mühlegg, who tested positive for darbepoetin, a a synthetic form of EPO.
He was stripped of the gold medals he had won in the 50 kilometres, 30km freestyle and 20km pursuit.
But Russia has been at the centre of suspicion since they were awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics in 2007 with several top biathletes having tested positive.
"So we really want to make a great effort with regard to anti-doping with quantity and - even more important - quality," said Bach.
"We will have more targeted tests, based on profiles and intelligence we get from national anti-doping agencies, federations and NOCs."
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