Wada doubles ban for first offence to 4 years

The World Anti-Doping Agency has passed a rule that will keep drug cheats out of at least one Olympics. This was after WADA doubled the ban for a first offence from two years to four.

The anti-doping agency also passed a rule under which athletes will be offered possible immunity from punishment in return for “substantial” information on doping. This rule is expected to provide an incentive to cyclists to testify in a planned inquiry into their sport’s drug-stained past. The principle will apply only to current cyclists, not banned cyclists including American rider Lance Armstrong. After an extensive investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Armstrong was banned for life in 2012 and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. The cyclist was implicated and punished despite never failing a doping test.

Outgoing World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey said if you can bring about a greater good with the cooperation you give, then there ought to be some encouragement for you. He added it would be judged on a case-by-case basis and dealt with in the most conscientious way. Fahey added we are now equipped to go forward in the best possible way with a set of rules and it’s a good day for sport, for athletes and for our future. He also added that he firmly believes that the revised code will put the interest of clean athletes as the number one priority. Fahey also remarked we must turn those words, those intentions, into action. Fahey told delegates in Johannesburg that the executive committee unanimously endorsed and agreed to approve the code and the standards.

Under the new updates, WADA will have strengthened powers of punishing athlete support personnel, the trainers, coaches, and officials that assist in doping. In the past coaches and officials were not subject to the same anti-doping rules as athletes.

WADA also elected IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie of Britain as the next President to take over on January 1 while Makhenkesi Stofile of South Africa will be the new Vice-President.

The incoming WADA president said he certainly hopes that the higher sanctions become a much more regular fact of life. IOC President Thomas Bach said the new measures are an excellent step forward and the IOC welcomes any improvement in the fight against doping and it is a much-improved code but it alone is not enough.

The anti-doping agency also extended the period of statute of limitations from eight to 10 years, which will allow statute of limitations will be extended from eight to 10 years. The code will take effect on January 1, 2015, in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This code will ensure that athletes found guilty of intentional doping miss the next games.

A post-conference declaration urged for extra resources for the World Anti-Doping Agency, co-funded by the Olympic movement and governments, and for more anti-doping legislation to be adopted by governments. The declaration said governments of countries without a national anti-doping organization are encouraged to establish one or join a regional anti-doping organization.

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