Aussie boss blasts British Olympic body over drug bans

Aussie boss blasts British Olympic body over drug bans

The Australian head of world sport’s fight against drugs says he expects a push for increased penalties but has lashed out at the British Olympic Association after its failed bid to ban cheats for life.

John Fahey
THE Australian head of world sport’s fight against drugs says he expects a push for increased penalties but has lashed out at the British Olympic Association after its failed bid to ban cheats for life.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has rejected the British Olympic Association’s claims that WADA’s code needs reform following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that will allow three British former drug cheats to compete at the London Olympics.

Fahey says the BOA has been grandstanding following the CAS ruling this week which found its by-law which banned drug cheats from the Olympics for life did not comply with WADA’s code.

The ruling opens the door for cyclist David Millar, sprinter Dwain Chambers and shot putter Carl Myerscough, who have all competed at world championships and other events since serving bans in the mid 2000s, to compete for Britain in London.

While he expects to see WADA’s current review result in an increase from the basic two year ban for a first offence, Fahey said the BOA’s proposed four year ban to cover the following Olympics was unlikely to stand up in court.

“What level of increase for a first offence we ultimately reach, I don’t know,” Fahey told AAP on Wednesday.

“I’d be surprised if there isn’t a push to increase the first offence sanction above the basic two years.”

But the former NSW premier said penalties must be proportionate.

“They can be challenged in human rights courts and if they’re seen to be disproportionate, then they’re likely to be thrown out,” he said.

“And the view was that if you go to four years you’ll have the courts throw it all out and it’ll be a waste of time.”

Fahey says he hasn’t heard from any other organisation to support BOA chairman Colin Moynihan’s claim that WADA was making it difficult for sports bodies to be tough on drug cheats.

“If there’s a belief from the world’s athletes, officials and governments that penalties aren’t tough enough, let’s hear them,” he said.

So far, WADA’s athletes committee has not expressed any opposition to the CAS ruling and Fahey says he hasn’t seen any submissions to the WADA review which have been critical of its sanctions.

Fahey said the current code was agreed to in 2007 by athletes, sporting bodies and governments, including the BOA which offered no objection at the time.

“I hope all this grandstanding that’s been going on about how we’re not tough enough leads to the BOA at least putting some constructive comments together in this review,” he said.

“They had the same chance to do that before the 2007 review, they made no submissions.

“It’s all very fine to say we’re not tough enough, how come they didn’t say that a few years ago?”

He said the BOA wasted “a hell of a lot” of WADA’s time and money by pursuing the matter in CAS.

Fahey said a four year ban to cover an Olympiad would be inconsistent with hundreds of other non-Olympic sports which are part of the WADA code.

“You’ve got to remember that’s applicable to 27 summer Olympic sports, what about the hundreds of other sports that are signed up to the code?” he said.

“What sort of penalty do you want for them?

“We can’t have one rule for Olympic sports and another for all the other sports.” – AAP

Australian Times

Australian Times

For, by and about Aussies in the UK.


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