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  • World Baseball Classic Minus U.S.


    03/17/06

     
    (ATR) Host U.S. is out of the finals of the World Baseball Classic after a loss to Mexico in second-round play, while a row is underway over doping controls at the tournament.

    Despite its win over the U.S., Mexico failed to advance to the weekend finals, which will include Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan and Korea playing at PETCO Park in San Diego, California.

    Korea and Japan play in one semifinal match Saturday, Cuba and Dominican Republic in the other. The pairings guarantee that Monday?s final will pit a team from Asia against one from the Americas, the two most powerful regions for baseball in the world.

    On the doping front, World Anti-Doping Agency President Richard Pound is criticizing organizers of the WBC for failing to disclose the policy and testing program to be followed for players competing in the tournament.

    "It's very simple. We are asking baseball to come clean and set the record straight," says Pound in a statement on the WADA web site.

    "Either baseball officials seriously want to rid their sport of doping, or they want to brush the issue under the carpet. So far, we haven?t seen much evidence of the former," he says.

    The WADA statement says that the without disclosure of the doping policy, the agency "will be left no choice but to declare the WBC non-compliant with the world doping standard."

    Major League Baseball, organizers of the tournament which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, says it "has complied with all the terms of its drug agreement that was set in 2004 between the players association and the IBAF for the inaugural World Baseball Classic."

    Rob Manfred, MLB's vice president of
    WADA President Richard Pound. (ATR) 
    labor relations and human resources, says all players have received a complete list of substances banned for the tournament, noting "that no player on either the provisional roster of the 16 teams nor the 30-man active rosters have tested positively for drug use, either in pre-tournament testing or since the competition began in Tokyo on March 3."

    Manfred says he's had discussions with the federation following Pound?s attack on the tournament.

    "The IBAF assured me that it transmitted the banned list to the [individual baseball] federations in conformity with the World Anti-Doping Association [WADA]. The testing they conducted was up to WADA standards. I don't know what more they can do," says Manfred on the MLB website.

    Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.