7 Oct 2011

Britain to stick to doping ban law despite CAS ruling

7:00 am on 7 October 2011

Britain will retain a by-law preventing its athletes found guilty of wilful doping from competing in any Olympics, despite a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling that cleared the way for several dozen former doping offenders to compete at next year's London Games.

The CAS ruling dismissed the validity of an International Olympic Committee rule banning the athletes but the British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan says its by-law is an eligibility rule and not a sanction like the IOC case so the CAS decision was not binding on Britain.

The IOC Rule 45 was introduced in 2008 and banned athletes, including American Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt, from participating at the next Games if they have been suspended for six months or longer.

British sportsmen like cyclist David Millar, who said the CAS ruling was a "good thing", and sprinter Dwain Chambers have fallen foul of the by-law but the BOA is confident it would win a case if either of them went to CAS because of the distinction that not being picked is different from a sanction.

Former doper Millar was banned from competing in the Olympics by the BOA, but says lifetime bans for a first offence do not encourage rehabilitation nor education, two things that are necessary for the future prevention of doping in sport.