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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 17:33 GMT
Athletes warned over Olympic bans
Christine Ohuruogu
Ohuruogu missed three out-of-competition tests
British athletes have been warned that appeals against lifetime Olympic bans for missed drugs tests will be harder to prove in the future.

World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu successfully appealed against her ban, the third British athlete to do so.

Problems with the testing system and athlete education issues were cited as mitigating circumstances.

But the British Olympic Association said such excuses were becoming less plausible as a defence against a ban.

"The panel observed that it becomes increasingly difficult for athletes to rely upon teething problems within the (testing) system and lack of education in the same way that Ohuruogu and other successful appellants have done," read the statement.


"In future, athletes might well need to brace themselves for the serious possibility of rejection of their appeals and lifetime ineligibility for the Olympic Games."

The panel which heard Ohuruogu's case argued that, in the past, athletes were provided with "insufficient training and instruction" regarding their responsibilities in relation to drug tests and this was a mitigating circumstance.

But it insisted that athletes were now well aware of the consequences of missing a test, and that future appeals similar to Ohuruogu's could well fail.

The BOA has a by-law which hands out an automatic lifetime Olympics ban to any athlete who misses three out-of-competition drugs tests.

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