[QODLink]
Athletics

IAAF to return to four-year doping ban

Athletics governing body to enforce harsher punishment to ensure athletes caught doping miss four-year Olympic cycle.

Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 12:15
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The ban extension to be brought into force in 2015 - brings the IAAF back in line with the new WADA code [AFP]

World athletics' governing body, the IAAF, will adhere to a new WADA code and happily revert to four-year bans for drugs offenders from 2015 as part of its "unwavering commitment against doping".

"The new WADA Code, which will come into force on 1 January 2015, will reflect our firm commitment to have tougher penalties and the IAAF will return to 4 year sanctions for serious doping offences," the IAAF said after its council met ahead of the world championships that start in Moscow on Saturday.

Athletics has recently been rocked by a string of doping cases, ranging from high-profile athletes like Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown to tens of Russians and Turks, among others.

The current sanction for a first-time doping offender is two years, meaning that the athlete would not miss the four-year Olympic cycle.

Harsher punishment

The IAAF cut the sanction to two years from four in 2004 in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's thinking of the time, and has long called for a return to harsher punishment for doping infractions.

"The IAAF has an ethical obligation to the overwhelming majority of athletes and officials who believe in clean sport," it said.

"As a leader in this fight the IAAF has built and delivers a programme that is well resourced, far reaching, sophisticated and increasingly able to detect and remove from the sport those who breach our anti-doping rules."

The IAAF added that it has "historically been the pioneering international sport federation in the field of anti-doping. The IAAF began out of competition testing in 1989 and blood testing in 2001 and almost all of the key procedures in anti-doping currently in use have been originated by our sport".

"The IAAF's collection of the blood samples of nearly 2000 athletes in Daegu (in the 2011 worlds), as part of our commitment to the Athlete Biological Passport, was an historic achievement across all sports, and continues in Moscow.

"The IAAF will carry on investing in education, controls and sanctions, applying the most sophisticated methods in pursuit of its goal, and using every means at its disposal to expose the cheats."

Large-scale testing

The IAAF has boasted that its August 10-18 World Athletics Championships in Moscow will feature the "most comprehensive anti-doping programme in the history of the 30-year-old event".

After two months of out-of-competition testing, the IAAF will implement "large-scale pre-competition blood tests implemented for an athlete's biological passport".

"If any athletes show any abnormal blood values then the IAAF will carry out a follow-up urine test. This will allow the testers the possibility to detect for substances such as EPO."

The IAAF added that in-competition urine tests would be carried out for the top three finishers in each event immediately after the race.

In addition, some athletes will be tested by a random draw and some target testing will be done. A total of between 450-500 urine tests will be carried out during the championships, the IAAF said.

527

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.

Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list