WADA moving towards four-year bans for doping offenders

Agency reviewing thousands of comments for proposed Code amendments

First-time doping offenders who are “real cheats” could face up to a four-year ban for a first doping offense, under the proposed amended Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency.  WADA has reviewed more than 4,000 comments from stakeholders on its proposed amendments.

“Real cheats” would be those who used  anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents and the trafficking of prohibited methods and substances.  Current regulation call for only a two-year ban for a first-time offence. On the other hand, the new Code would also bring more flexibility in determining sanctions “in other specific circumstances,” which were not made known.

Not only athletes would be subject to investigation and sanctioning under the new code.  It would also cover “Athlete Support Personnel who are also involved in doping”.

The amended code will be put to vote at the World Conference on Doping in Sport to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 12 to 15 this year. The new code would take effect in 2015.

The amendments also would take into consideration “the principles of proportionality and human rights”, and assist in anti-doping investigations, as well as emphasize “the concepts of smart test distribution planning, smart menus for Sample analysis, and smart sample storage.”

"It says to cheats: 'We're going to get you and deal with you even more effectively than we have in the past'," said Fahey, according to insidethegames.biz. "We're in business to protect the overwhelming majority of clean athletes around the world.

"The way you protect clean athletes and support them is to deal properly and effectively with the cheats."

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