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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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July 16, 2008 11:01 AM

A new dope lab -- and a backup power plan -- for Vancouver

Posted by Ron Judd


Don't be surprised if doping once again becomes a news thread running through the Beijing Games, with record numbers of tests being administered, and new tests for at least some previously undetected substances, such as EPO.

Doping is already making news, meanwhile, in Vancouver, where the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) is about to announce that its new drug lab will be located in space at the new Richmond Oval (see post below on that building).

The doping lab -- 15,000 square feet of it -- will be built into the street level of the building, the Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee reports today. Vanoc has yet to confirm the deal, but Lee reports that the Richmond lab, which will be in space that will become a sports-medicine clinic after the Games, solves a major problem for Games organizers. They had initially planned to send doping samples to Canada's only World Anti-Doping Agency-certified lab, in Montreal. But the International Olympic Committee said no that that idea.

Meanwhile, a massive power outage in downtown Vancouver on Monday, caused by a fire in underground cables, has some people worried about a similar catastrophe during the Games. Especially since the blackout left in the dark the massive waterfront Convention & Exhibition Centre, which will be the working space for the world's assembled media.

Officials with B.C. Hydro said they're reviewing plans, and will have a backup source of power identified before the Games begin. Monday's power outage left a large portion of downtown Vancouver in the dark for a day and a half.

Ironically, as the Sun notes here, B.C. Hydro is an "official supporter" of the Olympics, having signed a deal to provide primary and secondary sources of power to most venues. That guarantee allowed Vanoc to save about $20 million in backup generators it would have needed to ensure power at all venues.

It's a safe bet that the details of that plan are getting a fresh look from Vanoc officials this week. Monday's failure almost shut down the city, without the pressure of an Olympics.


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Blogroll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.