6 Jan 2012

Banned athletes could compete in Olympics

8:48 am on 6 January 2012

New Zealand athletes suspended for doping offences could be eligible for the London Olympics in July, provided their ban is completed before the event.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee says it had no option but to reluctantly drop a bylaw banning such athletes from competing at the Games following the completion of their sentence, after the International Court of Sport Arbitration ruled such a ban was unenforceable.

The NZOC says four New Zealand drug cheats have been banned. One has completed their sentence and another's ban expires in June.

But the NZOC says neither of them may be serious contenders for selection. The two other bans expire after the Olypmics.

The committee says the World Anti-Doping Agency should be dispensing harsher penalties to athletes who deliberately take drugs.

It also says the British Olympic Committee is appealing against the Court's ruling.