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Utah doctor to head medical services for 2002 Games

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Dr. J. Charles Rich, director of the LDS Hospital division of neurological surgery, will be chief medical officer for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

A committee that includes representatives of SLOC and Intermountain Health Care chose Rich, 61, after a nationwide search. IHC was involved because it has the contract to provide medical services for the Games. The selection was approved by the International Olympic Committee."We were delighted with the caliber of applicants for this position, and the commitment that many physicians were willing to make to ensure SLOC's medical services function will be a success," said Verena Rasmussen, director of Games services for SLOC. "The position is initially an unpaid, part-time, voluntary post, and it will become a full-time position approximately six months before the Games."

Rich will be responsible for making sure that preparations for medical services meet deadlines and don't go over budget. He also will be the primary liaison between SLOC and the IOC Medical Commission.

The IOC Medical Commission wants to make sure that athletes don't take performance-enhancing drugs during the Games. Rich will work closely with the laboratory chosen to conduct drug testing.

Dr. Kent Richards, senior vice president of IHC, said the organization is pleased at Rich's selection. "We are confident he will do an excellent job," he said.