London 2012: IOC backs BOA tough stance on drugs cheats

International Olympic Committee issues support for British Olympic Association's right to issue life bans

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Denis Oswald
Denis Oswald spoke to the media in central London on Friday Photo: The Sport Review

Denis Oswald

The International Olympic Committee has vowed to back the British Olympic Association over their right to choose which athletes are eligible to compete at London 2012.

The BOA’s by-law, which prevents any athlete convicted of a doping offence from ever competing at the Olympics, has come under scrutiny after the Court of Arbitration in Sport on Thursday dismissed the IOC’s own rule as “unenforceable”.

BOA chiefs have insisted it will fight to keep in place its strict rule, despite murmurings of possible appeals from the likes of British sprinter Dwain Chambers, who has already once failed to overturn his Olympic ban for testing positive for steroids in 2003.

But Denis Oswald, head of the IOC’s London 2012 coordination commission, insists the sport’s governing body is fully supportive of the BOA’s tough stance.

“The IOC has a no-tolerance policy regarding doping,” he told a news conference on Friday. “We adopted the Osaka rule as a way to strengthen our fight against doping, so we are disappointed that Cas did not follow our suggestions.

“We accept their ruling but this is not the final word in this respect. We will work with World Anti-Doping Agency to see if we can implement this in the long-term.

“We have a lot of sympathy for the BOA system and we would like to achieve [something like] that. It’s too soon to try and give a solution. We will study the decision made by Cas and discuss it internally.

“About 6,000 athletes will be tested during the Games and all participants will have been tested several times before. We’ve done the best we could do to have the cleanest possible Games.”

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