The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked a federal judge to take over a state-courtlawsuit filed by the organization’s former drug czar.Wade Exum, who served as the Colorado Springs-based agency’s directorof drug control administration for nine years until he resigned in 2000,sued the organization in El Paso County District Court in February, revivingclaims that a federal judge refused to consider in a previous lawsuit.Exum’s attorney, John Pineau, hadsubpoenaed two women to testify at a hearing next week about theirknowledge of athletes who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugsin Olympic trials and went on to win medals.In a motion filed last week, the USOC said federal law requires thatall lawsuits covering aspects of the USOC’s responsibilities must be heardin federal court. Pineau said he had not decided whether to fight the request.”As an immediate effect of USOC’s Notice of Removal, the subpoenas forthe production of 15 years of unreleased doping records, returnable inCourt on May 23, 2005, will be stayed,” Pineau said.
Exum, a psychiatrist, accuses the USOC of undermining his push to eliminatedoping and failing to discipline athletes who used drugs. The lawsuit seeksunspecified damages for emotional distress, embarrassment, lost wages andbenefits, diminished career opportunities and other claimed injuries.In his federal lawsuit, Exum, who is black, alleged racial discriminationas well as making claims similar to those in the state lawsuit. A federaljudge threw out the discrimination claim in April 2003 and refused to considerthe remaining claims. An appeals court refused to reinstate the lawsuit.