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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Radcliffe keen for doping changes
Paula Radcliffe
Radcliffe is awaiting the birth of her first child early next year
Paula Radcliffe has backed calls for an independent authority to replace UK Sport as the anti-doping agency for British athletes.

The marathon world record-holder believes that a separate body could carry out the role more effectively.

"There needs to be an independent body with no links to any funding and federations," she said.

"It should be affiliated to the World Anti-Doping Agency so that rules are the same across the world."

Radcliffe also believes Christine Ohuruogu should be allowed to compete for Great Britain at future Olympics, despite missing three out-of-competition tests.

Radcliffe, 32, advocated four-year bans for first-time drug offenders and a life suspension for a second offence when speaking at the IAAF's anti-drug symposium in Lausanne over the weekend.

We need to ensure all the athletes are really educated

Paula Radcliffe

But she claims more understanding should be shown to athletes who miss out-of-competition tests.

Ohuruogu was given a one-year suspension for the offence and now faces being banned by the British Olympic Association from future Games.

"UK Sport at the minute are taking a much stricter and tougher stance on the whereabouts than anywhere else in the world," said Radcliffe.

"It's good that we are leading the way but at the same time we need to make sure that testing procedures and the whereabouts procedures used across the world be fair to all athletes.

"At the moment it's a lot stricter in England. You do feel for Christine and when we make it much stricter, we need to ensure all the athletes are really educated and really understand how important it is to always notify their whereabouts."

Meanwhile, IAAF vice-president Arne Ljungvist has said that four-year bans should be re-introduced for athletes in "proven aggravated doping cases".

The world governing body for athletics cut the length of bans from four to two years in 1997 because of civil court rulings and pressure from other sports.

But Ljungvist said: "I think times have changed. We are talking about four-year bans for cases of systematic or deliberate manipulation such as the Balco case."

Ljungvist said that a two-year ban was "sufficient" for individuals being caught for first-time abuse of simple stimulants.

The issue could now be presented to the IAAF's Congress at its next meeting in August 2007.

But Ljungvist acknowledged that Wada would also have to support the argument in the drafting of its new code.

"If we hear from Wada it is prepared to back four-year bans in the case of serious doping then I am confident the IAAF Congress would adopt this plan," he said.

"And if Wada is on board then it would automatically apply to all other Olympic sports - unless those sports want to risk being excluded by the International Olympic Committee."

Ohuruogu is hit by one-year ban
15 Sep 06 |  Athletics
More than 70 Brits missed tests
08 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin 'must serve four-year ban'
23 Aug 06 |  Athletics


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