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Life drugs ban is criticised by UK anti-doping chief


Athletes agree with Olympic dope ban - BOA

The head of the UK Anti Doping Agency has criticised the British Olympic Association's lifetime Olympics ban on athletes who test positive for drugs.

Andy Parkinson believes athletes are deterred from giving information about suppliers in order to avoid suspensions which ban them from the Olympics.

He says removing 'incentives' to share information has a negative effect.

"We will continue to struggle to catch those who are supplying performance enhancing substances," said Parkinson.

As well as the BOA, Parkinson was also critical of the extra bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee.

Dope cheats should not be banned from Olympics - UKAD

The BOA has a rule of a lifetime Olympic ban for any British athlete who fails a drugs test, while the IOC say cheats will not be allowed to compete at the next Games even if their suspension is completed.

Yet, under World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, athletes are entitled to reduced bans if they provide evidence against suppliers.

Parkinson wrote on the insidethegames website: "We have seen in the United States, and also here in the UK, how going beyond the anti-doping rules established by WADA creates confusion and impedes our role.

"The World Anti-Doping Code, agreed at an international level, encourages athletes to provide substantial assistance which can be grounds for a reduction in the sanction period.

"If we remove all incentives for athletes to share their stories and information with us, then we will continue to struggle to catch those who are supplying performance-enhancing substances and often operate on the edges of sport with relative impunity."


The BOA have had the by-law since 1992, but have allowed 27 successful appeals against the lifetime ban - usually on the basis of the offences being minor.

British sprinter Dwain Chambers failed in a legal challenge two years ago to overturn the ban so that he could compete at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Parkinson admits that any softening of the IOC and BOA rules would be controversial.

He added: "It is clear that this is a hard message to get across and to agree on, largely because these eligibility rules are easy to defend.

"But if we cannot be seen to be working with all athletes, then what hope do we have in really getting to the heart of the doping problem and to those that traffic and supply."

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see also
UK anti-doping body set to open
15 Oct 09 |  Sport Homepage
Chair of new UK doping body named
15 Jul 09 |  Sport Homepage
Chambers loses Olympic case
18 Jul 08 |  UK
Chambers admits positive test
22 Oct 03 |  Athletics

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