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2010 World Championship doping enforcement launched - More than one-third of players to face random tests

ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) - FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, today announced the largest-ever doping programme of players in its history.

The organisation has carried out 48 random tests in the first two days of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, testing two players from each of the competing 24 teams. It is planning to carry out at least another 60, meaning more than 100 will be carried out across the 80 games of the tournament.

Patrick Baumann, Secretary-General of FIBA, said: "This is a record in FIBA history and it shows our commitment to fight drug-taking and keep this game as clean as it always has been and hopefully always will be.

"We hope that we can banish the myth that some teams are not tested. Everybody is treated exactly the same and there are no exceptions."

FIBA also said the opening games had indicated the tournament would be "very competitive" with six of the 12 games ending within a 10-point margin and three finishing on the buzzer.

Baumann said: "The first two days prove that this will be a very competitive World Championship, certainly more competitive than the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. We think this is fantastic news - this is exactly where the excitement comes from in basketball.”

He also hailed yesterday's performance by Tunisia which lost 80-65 to the much-fancied Brazilians saying: "This shows the overall improvement in African basketball. What Tunisia did was amazing. I believe all three African teams are competitive and can beat other teams in this tournament. They definitely belong among the best in the world."

FIBA is aiming to increase the number of teams competing in its World Championship to 32 and from 12 to 16 in the Olympics, meaning "there should be space for more African teams."

Commenting on the opening of the tournament, which began on Saturday, Baumann described the Turkish organisation as "flawless", adding: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Turkish authorities and government who have put so much into this tournament.

"There should also be a big "Thank You" to the 3,000 staff who are working at the venues, including the 1,700 volunteers, because without them there would be no tournament.

"They leave here at 2am in the morning and they leave with a smile."

For further information contact communications@lewispr.com


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