IOC Establishes World Drug Agency


London, England, Nov. 11 (AP Stephen Wilson)--The International Olympic Committee established an international agency Wednesday to combat drugs in sports and hoped its leading critic _ the United States _ will take part.

The agency is temporarily based in the IOC's home city of Lausanne, Switzerland, with IOC vice president Dick Pound the chairman.

The new group will operate under Swiss laws and be known as the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Its tasks include: establishing a single list of banned substances, coordinating unannounced out-of-competition drug testing, developing standards for collecting and analyzing samples, pushing for unified drug sanctions and promoting research.

The agency will be governed by a board of at least 10 members and no more than 35.

``Everybody has a stake in making it work,'' Pound said. ``As far as I can tell, it's the first time you're going to have all the players on the same table at the same time with the same objective.''

Members will be appointed to three-year terms, with the possibility of two additional terms. Twelve members have been appointed so far.

The four IOC representatives are: Pound; Arne Ljungqvist of Sweden, who is also chairman of the medical commission of the International Amateur Athletic Federation; Prince Alexandre de Merode, longtime head of the IOC medical commission; and Jacques Rogge, an IOC executive board member and vice chairman of the medical panel.

Representing international sports federations: Hein Verbruggen, president of the International Cyling Union, and Anders Besseberg, president of the International Biathlon Union.

Members of the IOC athletes' commission: former U.S. Olympic volleyball player Robert Ctvrtlik; former Italian cross country ski star Manuela Di Centa; Norwegian speed skating great Johann Olav Koss; and commission chairman Peter Tallberg of Finland.

Public authorities are represented by Suvi Linden, Finland's culture minister; and Awoture Eleyae, secretary general of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa.

The IOC said the agency is expected to invite representatives of national governments, including Australia and the United States, to serve on the board.

One of the most outspoken critics has been Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House drug office. He called the agency a ``starting point'' on Wednesday and emphasized he does not think it will be sufficiently independent from the IOC.

``In the long run we've got to do better,'' he said in Washington. ``The United States continues to view the current framework for the WADA as inadequate to protect the world's clean athletes.''

McCaffrey will head a U.S. delegation at the 26-nation International Drugs in Sport Summit next week in Sydney, Australia. He said the summit can produce the improvements for a ``fully effective and independent WADA.''

Pound, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said he hopes the United States comes on board.

``It's a very important country, a country in which there is a considerable concern about doping,'' he said. ``I think we have addressed all the concerns about independence and transparency that the general raised.''

Pound expects the first meeting to be in mid-December. He said no single group can control the agency.

``I don't understand how you could come to any other conclusion,'' he said. ``The IOC is going to have only a 12.5 percent share.''

Pound said it's ``unfair and unreasonable'' to demand the IOC have no role in the agency.

``The IOC has initiated or been part of every single action against doping in sport for the last 30 years,'' he said.

The agency was endorsed by Vivien Reding, the European Union's sports commissioner.

``I believe the Americans will join when they see that really the agency is working in a balanced and transparent way,'' she said in Belgium.

McCaffrey and others do not want the agency in Lausanne. A number of European cities would like to serve as heaadquarters, and the IOC plans a bidding process for a permanent seat.

The IOC has contributed $25 million to start the agency but expects governments and others to pay their share.

``We'll be carrying the freight ourselves for the first couple of years,'' Pound said. ``After that, you have to pay the same price for a place at the same table.''