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Doping offenders can expect 4-year ban

OSAKA, August 23 — World athletics governing body IAAF here Thursday said that first-time drug cheats will face a mandatory four-year ban.

The IAAF initially imposed four-year bans on doping cheats in 1991 but they were forced to turn back their tough stance for legal challenges in 1997.

The IAAF Congress agreed that the IAAF should push for this change, to apply for serious first-time offenders, at the World Anti-Doping Conference in November in Madrid, where the World Anti-Doping Code is under revision.

“We remain convinced that strong penalties are an important cornerstone of an effective anti-doping campaign in general, and in athletics in particular,” the IAAF congress said in a statement.

“We unanimously reiterate in the strongest possible terms the position adopted at the 2005 Congress regarding four-year penalties for first-time serious doping infractions.”

Lamine Diack, president of the IAAF, was confident that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will stand behind the IAAF and get tough on doping.

“We hope that WADA adopts stronger measures. We hope to define the circumstances and substances by November,” Diack said after the conference.

Even if WADA failed to do so, Diack said that the IAAF had the right to extend the ban to four years from the current two. He added that doping offenders will also be forced to hand back prize money they have won.

WADA, which was set up in 1999, also ruled that two-year bans are imposed on first-timers.

source IAAF

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