USADA plans new policy

Monday, June 14, 2004

In a shift that could significantly hurt Olympic champion Marion Jones and other athletes under investigation for possible drug violations, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency plans to start using a less-stringent burden of proof in doping cases.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a USADA memorandum calling for such a change, which was dated June 1 and written by USADA director of legal affairs Travis Tygart. The existence of the memo was first reported Sunday by The Washington Post.

The memo says the standard burden of proof used in U.S. criminal courts -- "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- has been replaced with the requirement that USADA prove doping "to the comfortable satisfaction" of the panel hearing the case.

Tygart's memo said the change reflects world anti-doping rules that took effect March 1. Such a change could make it much easier for the USADA to conclude there were doping violations.

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