MERODE Alexandre (Prince de) (1934 - 2002) Belgium
In the fight against drug taking, the IOC appointed this eminently cultivated man to head the medical committee over thirty years ago. He was vice-president of the International Olympic Committee.Despite the abuses uncovered every day, Alexandre de Mérode's work had not been in vain. The spectacular sanctions taken against Ben Johnson in 1988 did much to limit drug taking, though it had still not been eradicated. Mérode was also behind femininity testing and the systematic tests performed at every games since Grenoble in 1968. It was his idea, yet again, that world weightlifting officials should go after the cheats, as that discipline was under threat of removal from the Olympic programme. And he it was who urged the last anti-drugs conference in Lausanne to formulate a charter to restrict the use of dangerous substances by athletes.
De Merode's role declined following the creation in 1999 of the World Anti-Doping Agency, an independent body designed to lead the global campaign against banned drugs in sports.