Experts to take on doping in sport

Montreal will host a nation-wide conference on fighting doping in sport this fall.

Approximately 400 participants from across Canada will try to draft new ways to persuade young athletes not to use performance-enhancing substances.

Dick Pound, the vice president of the international Olympic committee, says the use of drugs among young athletes is a growing problem.

Stopping doping is a challenge

Pound is also the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He says officials have a hard time stopping doping in sport, because it operates underground.

One of the main participants at the conference will be the RCMP's anti-doping squad. Pierre Lecadre, the RCMP's coordinator for drug awareness in Quebec, says young athletes who use drugs don't fully understand the seriousness of their actions.

"They do and they don't. They know what's available on the market, but I don't think they know very well what are the straight facts about all the substances out there," Lecadre says.

One in five teen athletes "doping"

Lecadre says one in five teenage athletes in Quebec uses some kind of performance-enhancing substance.

Denis Coderre, federal Minister Responsible for Youth and Sport, says if sports doping can't be stopped, the Olympics can't be saved.

"If it's not working, personally, that's the end of the Olympic movement. Period. Bingo."

Coderre says the Canadian government could draft tough new anti-doping legislation, but neither the conference or the new law will be in time to affect athletes participating in the Summer Olympics in Sydney later this year.