The US has a long history of protecting its top olympic athletes, guilty or not.
Carl Lewis's positive test covered up
April 18 2003
The latest documents show Lewis tested positive for the banned stimulants found in cold medications: pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine.
The World Anti-Doping Agency's chairman, Dick Pound, dismissed the "no intent" defence. Mr Pound has seen copies of the documents and said that in some instances there was almost "automatic forgiveness" by the US officials.
Letters written by a US Olympic Committee executive, Baaron Pittenger, were sent advising some athletes of their positive drug-test results - and at the same time told them they were being cleared.
"It's got to be pretty embarrassing to the USOC," said Mr Pound, "to have their secretary-general writing in the letter, where he advises an athlete of a positive A sample, 'I have to send you this, but we already decided this was inadvertent.' That whole process turned into a joke."
Dr Exum, the former USOC
director for drug control from 1991 to 2000, released more than 30,000 pages of documents to Sports Illustrated. They confirm widespread suspicion of the USOC drug-testing system before it was moved to an independent body, the US Anti Doping Agency, after the Sydney Olympics.