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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 13:25 GMT
Wada plans to increase drug bans
Christine Ohuruogu
Ohuruogu won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
The World Anti-Doping Agency plans to increase the minimum punishment for missing three out-of-competition drug tests in an 18-month period.

In November, Wada hopes to set the punishment at a minimum of one year rising to a maximum of two years.

The Wada proposal comes at a time when Commonwealth 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu is awaiting the result of her appeal against the length of her ban.

Ohuruogu received a one-year drug suspension last October.

She took her case to the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS), claiming it was too severe.

Currently, different world sporting bodies are allowed to impose suspensions from competition ranging between three months and two years.

The existing legislation allows far too much variance in sanctions

John Scott, director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport

John Scott, director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport, has welcomed the proposal, which will eventually see a standard tariff implemented globally.

Scott said: "The existing legislation allows far too much variance in sanctions imposed on athletes for essentially the same offence.

"There is no better example of this than in the UK where suspensions of between three and 12 months have been imposed on British athletes who have committed missed test rule violations."

Ohuruogu suffered most with her one-year ban while four others, including world triathlon champion Tim Don, received bans of just three months.

While Ohuruogu awaits the CAS decision, the International Association of Athletics Federations maintains that one year is a justifiable minimum suspension and is pleased with Wada's proposed new regulation.

"We certainly welcome it," said Chris Butler, the IAAF's anti-doping media spokesman.

"It shows our current one-year sanction is in line with their (Wada) future direction of the code."

The IAAF was represented at the CAS hearing, where it reiterated their feelings that a one-year ban on Ohuruogu was fair and justifiable.

CAS is set to reveal in the next 10 days its findings from the hearing which was held in strict secrecy in London.



SEE ALSO
Ohuruogu faces anxious ban wait
11 Jan 07 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu submits drugs ban appeal
11 Oct 06 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu is hit by one-year ban
15 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Christie defends Ohuruogu slip-up
09 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu lands shock gold in 400m
21 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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