WASHINGTON – The Senate has agreed to turn over a committee's evidence on drug-use among athletes to Olympic officials and anti-drug monitors.
The Senate approved the information's release without debate Thursday, a day after officials with the U.S. Olympic Committee (search) and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (search) met with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (search). The panel has been collecting information on a federal investigation into performance-enhancing drug use by Olympic athletes.
"I am hopeful that, by the Senate taking this action now, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency may better fulfill its mission to ensure that the U.S. sends only those athletes to Greece who have qualified for the games through hard work and skill, rather than the use of performance-enhancing drugs," said Sen. John McCain (search), R-Ariz., the committee chairman.
Any release would not be immediate, McCain said, because "there is a Senate process for this kind of thing, when the Senate has documents that are sensitive in nature."
Officials had sought the information "so that America can be assured of fielding a clean and deserving Olympic team for the Athens Games," wrote William Martin, the USOC's acting president.
The grand jury investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative has led to charges against four men, including track coach Remi Korchemny and Greg Anderson, the personal trainer for baseball star Barry Bonds (search). Also charged were BALCO founder Victor Conte and the lab's vice president, James Valente. All have pleaded innocent.
Dozens of athletes, including Bonds and baseball slugger Jason Giambi (search), testified before the grand jury. None was indicted.
McCain got the material from the Justice Department and has promised to keep it secret. But he also has pledged that the committee would use the documents to ensure the U.S. team is drug-free for the Athens Games this summer.
"We hope that after the committee has considered this matter it will see fit to provide the documents and any other relevant information in its possession to our anti-doping agency," Martin said.