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Fourth-Place Medal

IOC bans needles from Olympics because that will stop dopers

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

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epo syringe

The IOC announced Friday that athletes at the 2012 Olympics will be banned from possessing needles and syringes. The announcement is part of the IOC's ongoing efforts to rid the event of performance-enhancing drugs.

Athletes and doctors will need medical clearance to bring needles in living areas, locker rooms, practice sites and competition venues.

Some thoughts:

1. Have athletes been openly flaunting their needle possession? Because that's the only way this rule would have any impact. Of all the things that cheating athletes have to do to cover-up steroid use, hiding the needle is probably the easiest thing. This is like DUI enforcement teams banning empty beer bottles from cars.

2. "We won't accept medical equipment like syringes and needles in the field of play." -- IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist

Finally! There have been far too many instances in past Olympics of sprinters shooting themselves up with deca durabolin during races. Remember when those East Germans would get on the starting blocks wearing bathing suits, goggles, caps and fanny packs filled with syringes and vials? Or that infamous 1988 incident in which Soviet doctors injected a boxer with anabolic steroids in full view of reporters and his wife/manager before a big fight? (Note: This may have been "Rocky IV.")

3. What's the next step, banning all pills that look similar to steroids? All shady-looking doctors? Words that contain the letters E-P-O?

4. How is enforcement of this rule going to work anyway? Unless the IOC is proposing random room and bag checks, there's no way to catch violators unless they're really dumb, in which case they probably wouldn't be able to evade testing in the first place.

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