4 Nov 2012

New anti doping measures for Australian Olympians

4:10 pm on 4 November 2012

Australia will likely become the first nation to order its Olympians to sign a legal document stating they have no doping history in a landmark move athletes say will flush out drug cheats.

Under a proposal, expected to be ratified by the Australian Olympic Committee later this month, athletes who don't sign a statutory declaration stating they have never used performance-enhancing drugs won't be selected for the Olympics.

The AOC president John Coates says coaches and officials will also be asked to sign the declaration in a move to prevent the AOC having egg on its face like cycling has.

The move is a direct response to the Lance Armstrong drugs case which led to two senior Cycling Australian officials, coach Matt White and vice president Stephen Hodge, quitting after admitting doping during their racing careers.

Australia's Olympic athletes currently have to sign a team agreement which included pledging to abide by anti-doping rules. It also compelled them to reveal any criminal history.

Only one Australian has failed a drugs test at an Olympics, modern pentathlete Alex Watson at the 1988 Seoul Games for excessive caffeine levels in his bloodstream.

Watson's initial life ban was quashed in 1989 by the AOC, who found no evidence of the pentathlete doing anything but drinking too much coffee.