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Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Athletes to face new doping rules

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson
Grey-Thompson's measures will send a strong signal to athletes

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson's anti-doping review for UK Athletics has called for tough new measures to tackle drugs.

They include a period of international exclusion after doping bans, financial penalties for missed drugs tests, and a clear rehabilitation programme.

The review, conducted over six months, came up with 22 recommendations which have been adopted by the UKA board.

UKA chief executive Niels de Vos said they would deliver "absolute clarity" for athletes on the misuse of drugs.

"The deterrent just got much stronger," he warned.

"These recommendations mean that any athlete stupid enough to [break the rules] will not only destroy their career as an athlete, but also any future one in the sport as an administrator or coach."

Grey-Thompson was joined on the review panel by former athletes Ed Moses and Colin Jackson, sports PR guru Mike Lee and UK Sport's anti-drugs chief John Scott.

It's important to note the extent to which British athletes are demonstrating their commitment to our rigorous anti-doping programme

UKA boss Niels de Vos

In addition to a general request for submissions from the public, over 400 stakeholders were contacted, including athletes, coaches, other national governing bodies, politicians and journalists.

Grey-Thompson said: "What was very clear was that internationally we are all operating at very different standards, and UKA needs to continue to lobby to achieve harmonisation.

"There was also widespread support, especially from current athletes, for a four-year ban, and this is something we need to collectively push for."

De Vos said: "Since I commissioned the review, the anti-doping landscape has changed drastically, supporting our initial observations.

"Euromeets [promoters] will no longer allow athletes with two-year bans to compete in their events, the major shoe companies will not endorse these athletes, and recently big agents have taken a decision not to represent athletes who have a serious doping conviction.

"Additionally, I think it's important to note the extent to which British athletes are demonstrating their commitment to our rigorous anti-doping programme.

"There are now no GB athletes on two missed tests and 10 athletes on one missed test.

"Our ambition now is to get that down to zero, but we have come a long way over the last 12 months."

see also
Legal threat to anti-doping code
22 Jan 09 |  Sport Homepage
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics

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