Jeremy Yates will be denied the opportunity to represent New Zealand at August's Olympic Games in Beijing, despite having already served his full two-year ban for testing positive for high levels of testosterone in Belgium in 2004. The news comes as New Zealand Olympic Committee announces a tough stance on convicted dopers.
"We have no tolerance for them and we want to keep New Zealand as a drugs-free sports culture," NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister said. "If an athlete has a positive test at or around one Olympic Games, if they serve a mandatory two-year stand down after that, then they can just rock up to the next Games and nothing has changed.
"The NZOC feels that because the Olympic Games is a pinnacle event for these athletes that there needs to be some sort of sanction or penalty as far as we're concerned," he added. "Missing the next Games is the policy."
Yates wasn't informed until January that there could be an issue with his participation in China. The rider, who has been riding strongly in national events since returning late last year, was hoping to contest the event in support of New Zealand's top road rider Julian Dean.
"I love representing my country and ultimately I paid the highest price (two-year) possible for an athlete who is dedicated to his sport," Yates told Radio Sport. "I have served my ban and I – and my family – suffered because of that. I feel I have already paid the price."
While some believe the ban from participating in this year's Olympic Games is a second punishment for one crime, the NZOC sees it differently.
"As far as we're concerned, he is suffering one penalty, in missing out on the Olympic Games," said Maister.