London 2012: BOA fights to keep lifetime bans for drugs cheats
The British Olympic Association is to take its fight to keep its lifetime ban for drugs cheats to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
British Olympic Association officials have filed a formal appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, challenging the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to label their lifetime ban for drugs cheats non complaint with their biding code.
Both parties have agreed sport’s highest legal authority is the right forum for resolving the contentious issue and are hopeful the court can rule before the end of April 2012.
The BOA will be represented by Lord Pannick QC, who was their legal counsel when Dwain Chambers challenged their bylaw ahead of the Beijing Games. He will be supported by Adam Lewis QC and Tom Cassells.
“The BOA selection policy is a direct expression of the commitment British athletes have made to uphold the values of fair play, integrity and clean competition ““ values that are at the heart of Olympic sport,” said BOA chairman Lord Moynihan.
“It is a policy that reflects the culture and character of Team GB. The BOA and British Olympic athletes do not consider that those who have deliberately cheated should represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
“We are appreciative of the expressions of support and encouragement we have received during the past few weeks, not the least of which have come from groups such as the BOA athletes’ commission, the International Olympic Committee athletes’ commission and the European Olympic Committee athletes’ commission, whose members have added their voices to this important issue.
“We appreciate the opportunity to appear before Cas and explain why our selection policy is entirely consistent with the Olympic Charter, and why it is essential for national Olympic committees to have the autonomy and independence to determine their own selection policies.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency counter that the BOA’s current position amounts to a double sanction – punishing athletes twice for the same offence – and undermines their current two-year ban for those found guilty of doping.