Rogge warning on HGH use in Athens

SARAJEVO (AFP) – International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said yesterday that a test for human growth hormone could be used at the Athens Olympics in August without the athletes’ knowledge. «As I speak today we are working on the validation» of a test for human growth hormone, Rogge told reporters during a trip to the Bosnian capital to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sarajevo Winter Olympics. He said the test had been developed but had to be validated by independent laboratories before being officially used at the Olympics. «If the validation is a success we will implement the test but we will not tell the athletes,» he said. «What I am saying today is, I believe, a strong message to the athletes. Don’t take growth hormone because it might be possible that you will be caught at the Games in Athens.» World Anti-Doping Agency officials revealed in January that research teams had made major progress in developing new tests on previously undetectable substances such as human growth hormone (HGH). HGH was developed for children’s growth disorders and adult growth hormone deficiency but has been used by competitors in a variety of sports since the 1970s. (Rogge also referred to security measures being prepared for the Athens Olympics, saying he did not believe they would damage the quality and «general ambiance» of the Games or keep people from attending.)