11 Jan 2012

Britain digs in on lifetime doping bans

9:24 pm on 11 January 2012

The British Olympic Association has reaffirmed it will vigorously defend its hardline stance of imposing lifetime bans for drugs cheats, a policy which the World Anti-Doping Agency wants to overturn.

The issue, which has split the two organisations in a public row, is set to be decided when the Court of Arbitration for Sport meets on March the 12th to rule on the validity of the BOA's 20-year-old bylaw that imposes a lifetime ban on any known doper from representing Britain at an Olympic Games.

WADA have argued the BOA bylaw goes beyond their own regulations and amounts to an extra sanction for a doping offence.

But BOA chairman Colin Moynihan says the current WADA policy of a serious doping offence just leading to a two-year ban is sending out the wrong message to young people.

He says the BOA makes it clear that if any athlete knowingly cheats a fellow team member out of selection from the British Olympic team, they will never be selected.

He believes that is why they have had very few positive tests because everyone knows the consequences, and it's a bylaw that the BOA will vigorously defend.