International Olympic Committee Vice President Richard Pound criticized White House drug control policy director Barry R. McCaffrey for assailing the IOC's proposed world anti-doping agency and vowed that the IOC would pursue its plans whether or not McCaffrey and other government officials were on board.

McCaffrey has been highly critical of the IOC's blueprint for an international anti-doping agency, saying the agency plan lacks the independence and accountability to be credible. In a letter dated Sept. 22, Pound stated that the IOC would proceed unilaterally with its plans to have the anti-doping agency operative by Jan. 1, 2000, holding places for government officials "when they resolve how best to participate." IOC officials have said that they want a board composed of officials from international governments and sport to oversee out-of-competition tests and to fund research.

"Just because they build it doesn't mean we will come," said Rob Housman, deputy director for strategic planning in McCaffrey's office. "If they build a bad car, why would we want to be a passenger? That's what they are offering us: Come be a passenger in our lemon."

Pound said in the letter that "no other organization in the world has done more than the IOC in the struggle against doping in sport. . . . " and that "it, unlike most organizations, has committed significant funding for this purpose," noting that the IOC has pledged $25 million to fund the agency's first year.

Pound's letter also chided McCaffrey for his comments about the IOC's plans saying, "Casting doubt upon the genuineness of the commitment of those involved in the international effort is not helpful."

"We thought the tone of [the letter] was somewhat arrogant, actually," said Bob Weiner, a spokesman for McCaffrey. "You would think they would want to embrace our support for a clean program and not resist it."