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Spring 2004
Leveling the Playing Field
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To Catlin, desecration of the Olympics is especially tragic. "The notion of the Olympic Games to me is the cleanest, purest kind of event ever," he says. "People in every country in the world can compete and the best man or woman crosses the finish line first. What could be worse than to think they are tainted?"

So who is winning the race against performance-enhancing drugs? "We've been through many years where the testers have lost," says Catlin. "But for the last few years, the momentum is definitely swinging. We're still behind in many ways, but at least now we have the World Anti-Doping Agency and USADA trying to deal with the issue, and a lot of people around the world who have become sensitized to it. Someday all this momentum will pay off."

Catlin would like to see a culture shift that motivates and rewards athletes for staying clean rather than simply punishing them for cheating. At the same time, he believes that victory is possible if the sporting world truly gets serious about the issue by formulating a long-term plan and backing research and funding.

He's convinced that the goal is attainable. "With the right funds," Catlin says, "we can level the playing field."

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