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IOC DRUG PROPOSAL CALLS FOR STIFF PENALTIES

Athletes caught using steroids could face life bans and fines of up to $1 million under International Olympic Committee proposals.

A package of proposed drug sanctions, including a precise definition of doping, has been drawn up by a special IOC panel and will be presented to leaders of 35 international sports federations in Switzerland on Friday.

But some top Olympic officials say the proposals are too complicated.

The IOC wants all federations to endorse a single medical code, embracing uniform drug rules and sanctions, before a worldwide doping summit Feb. 2-4.

An IOC group dealing with legal and ethical issues has proposed a definition of doping as the basis for the fight against performance-enhancing drugs. Doping is defined as one or both of the following:

"Use of an expedient substance or method potentially harmful to health and capable of enhancing the athlete's performance."

"The presence in the athlete's body of a substance or evidence of a use of a method where such substance appears" on the IOC's list of banned substances.

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