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Moses wants more action over drugs

Moses wants tough action against the drugs cheats
Moses wants tough action against the drugs cheats

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- American superstar Ed Moses has called on athletics chiefs to step up their war against the drugs cheats and the people in the "shadows."

The 48-year-old former Olympic 400 meters hurdles champion, unbeaten in 122 races between 1977 and 1987, has made it his goal to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials.

But Moses says there is a lot less passion in the sport these days, and he told Don Riddell of CNN's World Sport that the growth of drugs use had come as no great surprise.

"I think the international federations really need to step up to the plate in order to clean house," said Moses on Tuesday.

"I think they've not been spending enough money to research these drugs ... I think there was a great stroke of luck when someone turned in this new drug (THG) recently.

"But when I was responsible for running the drug operations in the United States for Track and Field and the Olympic committee we knew this was going to happen.

"So 12 years after I resigned from doing that job the reality is really setting in. But for those of us who were intimate with drug testing, it's no big surprise.

"There's always going to be people hanging around the sport who get athletes to do things that are questionable ... and at this juncture it looks like they are going after the people around the sport and not necessarily the athletes.

"The athletes are always the ones left on the hook but there's gurus and coaches and people in the shadows who are really causing a lot of it to happen.

"And unless and until they clean a lot of that up and have more reasearch done into these new compounds that will continue to surface, then you are going to have the same problem."

Moses shows his power at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984
Moses shows his power at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984

American law officials last week charged four men, including the coach of British sprinter Dwain Chambers, with illegal distribution of anabolic steroids.

Moses added: "The agencies are trying to do the best they can but athletes have legal rights -- and are fighting -- and associations are not willing to spend five, 10, 15 million dollars in legal fees every year.

"A lot of athletes who do have cases and go to arbitration, in many, many cases nothing ever happens. So in six out of 10 cases no one gets banned anyway."

Regarding his comeback, originally announced last year, he said: "Mostly it's motivation ... people think I'm coming back to run in the Olympic Games but those days are certainly over.

"I wanted to see whether I could run fast enough to qualify for the Olympic trials only -- not necessarily to make the team. I just wanted to show that you can do things that other people say are not possible. Just to run 50.5 seconds and be there at the start of the Olympic trials.

"I'm not interested in winning any more gold medals or running against guys of 23 and 24. I don't think that I can beat them but I do think that I can run 50.5 -- and at 48 years of age I think that makes a statement.

"But it's just not realistic for me to think I can come back and run in the Olympic Games."

Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic won the 400m hurdles world championship in Paris last August and Moses said: "I was 20 years ahead of my time so if I was still competing I'd probably be beating him. And beating him all the time, in my opinion.

"But he is the most consistent one out there and one of the few who is able to run under 47sec most of the time ... he is going to be difficult to beat at the Olympic Games."

Moses says the Olympic Games will always be a "fantastic" event but admitted: "I'm looking forward to Athens but am not quite so excited as when I was active and when your colleagues were competing.

"I don't see the passion in track and field that was there when I was running. I started running in the days when the only athletes who were using heavy drugs were the weight guys --everybody else was relatively clean.

"There was a lot of passion in the sport and people were doing it not because of the money ... and at the end of the year everyone went back to their real jobs."

Moses now spends his time representing Laureus -- an organization of 42 superstars from world sport.

"We join together to use sport as a vehicle for social change. There are three basic internationals languages in the world -- love, music and sports.

"We are able to communicate with young kids because of the power of the Internet and video and media. It's a fantastic leverage that we have with all our stars.

"As the chairman I enjoy the travel, being able to effect an issue and having an impact around the world through sports."

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