ROSEMONT, ILL., DEC. 1 -- United States participation in the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana is not in serious jeopardy, despite the U.S. Olympic Committee's concern about drug testing procedures, officials said today.
"It is a major concern of ours that specific arrangements still have not been made for drug testing that complies with International Olympic Committee standards, in terms of labs and IOC-approved procedures," USOC President Robert Helmick told reporters after a meeting of the USOC.
The importing of qualified drug-testing equipment and personnel seems to be the most likely solution. One USOC representative estimated it could take Cuba two to four years to get its drug-testing personnel up to IOC standards.
The USOC met to hear presentations from representatives of the various sports federations on the state of the Cuban facilities for each sport.
"We are concerned about health and safety," Helmick said.
The USOC will make its concerns known to the IOC Executive Committee next week. The United States is one of 38 countries planning to compete in the 11th edition of the Pan American Games, scheduled for Aug. 3-18.
Mike Plant, chairman of the USOC Athletes Advisory Council and a former Olympic speedskater, toured the Havana facilities Nov. 9, along with former Olympic weightlifter Bruce Wilhelm and three-time gold medal winning swimmer Mary T. Meagher. Their report to the USOC was fairly positive.
"We have some concerns about the state of the venues, housing, medical facilities and food," Plant said. "The facilities are modest and sparse, but we were told Cuba has spent about $70 million on them."