LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) – Overall World Cup ski champion Bode Miller said Friday he is being targeted for more doping tests since suggesting last month that regulations on banned substances be liberalized.

After telling reporters at the World Cup opener in Soelden last month that he believes doping should be legalized – or at least the accepted levels of banned substances should be increased – Miller said he was required to submit to drug tests on three consecutive weekends.

“I can tell you this: Since I started talking out about the idea, I’ve been randomly tested three times, and nobody else on my team has been tested more than once,” Miller said.

The 28-year-old American – who last year became the first U.S. man in 22 years to win the overall World Cup title – said he missed one test because he had to report for testing within two hours but was six hours away. Athletes are allowed to miss two random tests in 18 months, but a third omission is treated as a positive test.

“It’s incredibly insulting to be drug tested over and over and over again,” Miller said. “They can come up to you any time, anywhere. You have to tell them where you are all the time. Your pride is important, and when people come up to you any time and tell you have to pull down your pants … anytime they want to, as much as they want to, it’s insulting.

“It’s certainly pushing me farther and farther from the heart of the sport.”

Miller said in 2002 he submitted to eight tests in five months, while teammate Daron Rahlves was tested twice and a couple of other skiers only once.

“They claim it’s a random test. That’s not random; that’s called discrimination,” Miller said.

Miller said he hired a lawyer, who wrote to anti-doping enforcement authorities threatening to take action.

“And I didn’t get tested again in 18 months,” he added.

But according to the World Anti-Doping Code, certain athletes are allowed to be targeted for more random testing.

Comment 5.1.3. of the code says “target testing is specified because random target testing, or even weighted random testing, does not ensure that all of the appropriate athletes will be tested. (For example: world class athletes whose performances have dramatically improved over a short period of time, athletes whose coaches have had other athletes test positive, etc..” )

National ski federations, the international ski federation (FIS) and national Olympic committees all can conduct tests.

Rahlves said he was tested three times this past summer, and again after Soelden.

“I don’t know if it’s the normal procedure or because of the coming Olympics, but the drug testing stuff has been a little more rampant since Soelden,” Rahlves said. “We’re under the microscope more after those comments and were basically told by our team if we have something to say regarding that just keep it to ourself or within the team. Don’t spread it around.”

He said the last test was the first time the FIS had scrutinized him.

Former overall champion Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway, a 15-year veteran of the World Cup circuit, said he was also tested three times this summer, but nothing since Soelden.

He said FIS random tests were rare.

“In 15 years, I think I’ve have only five or six random FIS tests,” Aamodt said.

Regardless, he disagreed with Miller, who in addition to denying ever using banned substances has claimed that the tests do little to protect skiers’ health or guarantee fair competition.

“He can say what he wants, but I think it’s ridiculous,” Aamodt said. “What he’s saying is not good for the sport and not good for him. Of course, there was always things that can be improved but we’re not medical experts so we can’t say what is allowed and what is not allowed.”


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