Solution nears for doping laws at Turin Olympics

TURIN (AP) – The conflict over Italy’s tough doping laws for the Turin Winter Olympics appears to be nearing a solution. Government supervisor Mario Pescante said yesterday he will meet with IOC President Jacques Rogge this weekend at a European Olympic meeting in Dublin. «I will speak with him about doping,» Pescante told The Associated Press. «We are optimistic.» Pescante declined to give details. Giselle Davies, a spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said Rogge will arrive in Dublin tomorrow evening for the meetings. Under Italian law, athletes can face criminal sanctions for doping violations – raising the possibility of police raids in the Olympic Village during the February 10-26 Games. Under IOC rules, athletes face disqualification from the Olympics for any doping offense but no legal penalties. Pescante, who is also an IOC member, has virtually abandoned his attempt to impose a temporary suspension of Italy’s laws for the Olympics. He faced harsh opposition last month when he introduced such a proposal before the Italian Senate. Rogge said last month that he expects «intelligent solutions» will be found within «full respect» of the law. Valentino Castellani, chief of the Turin organizing committee, said yesterday that he believed an apparent accord had been reached. «I don’t know the details, it’s not my business,» he said after attending the inauguration of the Olympic stadium with Pescante. Pescante and Rogge are also due to meet next week in Rome during the beginning of the torch relay in Italy. «We are working about a decision. We are working,» Pescante said. «There is always a solution.»

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