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Ethical Behavior

Jere Longman
New York Times
February 2002

The ruling yesterday raised the question of what results might be changed in the future, and even whether it might be proper to adjust results from the past. For example, the decision brought renewed calls for the Olympic committee to consider awarding gold medals, or at least an apology, to American swimmers who lost to East German athletes who were taking drugs. The state sponsored system of drug use has been well documented in trials since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the Olympic committee has so far refused to issue duplicate gold medals to American swimmers, saying it was impossible to rewrite history. But that is exactly what Rogge did yesterday.  "I admire Jacques Rogge stepping up and setting a new threshold for ethical behavior," said Steven Ungerleider, a psychologist and author of "Faust's Gold," a book about the East German doping machine. "But I'm a little outraged. The I.O.C. needs to look very hard at other cases, like the American swimmers." With its quick action, the Olympic committee separated itself from the regime of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who stepped down as president last July.