London 2012: BOA claim Cas ruling is ‘hollow victory’ for Wada
Colin Moynihan describes the Cas ruling over BOA's lifetime bans for drugs cheats as a "hollow victory" for Wada
Colin Moynihan has described the decision to overturn the British Olympic Association’s lifetime ban for convicted drugs cheats as a “hollow victory” for the World Anti-Doping Agency.
As expected, the Court of Arbitration in Sport ruled Team GB’s hardline stance was non-complaint with the binding Wada code, to which the BOA are a signatory, and amounted to a double sanction.
It means the likes of sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar, who were previously excluded because of past doping suspensions, will now be eligible for selection at London 2012.
But having lost the battle, BOA chairman Moynihan insisted the war was not over, promising to put pressure on Wada, who last year he slammed as “toothless”.
“We recognise and fully respect the authority of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the panel,” said Moynihan.
“We are disappointed in the outcome for athletes, coaches and administrators, who want to see greater progress in the fight against doping. This will be seen a hollow victory for Wada.
“It’s wrong that national Olympic committees now have to hand over their selection policy to drugs cheats or face court action.
“An overwhelming majority of athletes support this policy and are totally committed to a clean Games.
“We have to protect the autonomy of teams to determine their own selection policies. We must now move the discussion forward and we will engage and lead in a global campaign to bring fundamental and far-reaching reforms to Wada.
“We will be actively involved and vocal. We want tougher and more realistic sanctions for serious first time doping offences.
“Cheating to deny a clean athlete the chance to participate in the greatest event in sports cannot merit a sanction so light as a two-year ban and the chance you would never even miss a Games.
“We also want more pro-active and reliable testing methods. We will call for the autonomy of national Olympic committees to be respected.
“We want an approach that doesn’t bind all to the lowest common dominator sanction. We want Wada to operate in a more efficient and effective manner and be more in touch with national Olympic committees.”
Such comments are unlikely to ease Moynihan’s tense relationship with Wada president John Fahey, who immediately claimed he regretted the ‘many hysterical and inaccurate public statements from the BOA’ in recent months.
“Wada has spent the last decade harmonising the fight against doping in sport across the world by creating one set of rules in consultation and in accordance with the wishes of all its stakeholders, both sport and government,” said Fahey, in a statement.
“In order to achieve this harmonisation, the rules have had to be proportionate and respectful of the rights of individuals within the framework of international law. They are not based on emotive arguments or the wishes of any one signatory or individual.”
However, Moynihan insisted any athlete previously banned would be warmly welcomed into the team this summer and claimed he’d be surprised if any of the 550-strong athlete delegation tested positive, as organisers Locog prepare to mount the biggest anti-doping operation in Olympic history.
“If athletes such as David Millar and Dwain Chambers become members of Team GB they will be treated as every other athlete in the delegation. All athletes will be treated in a manner that is equal and fair,” he added.
“I’m as confident as I can be that we will have 550 athletes that will have fully understood the consequences of taking performance-enhancing drugs and will not have done so. We’ve had a clean team on many occasions in the past.
“It’s only the dopey dopers who are caught during the Games, you have to be staggeringly stupid. The real challenges take place long before the Games, that’s why we need a global approach.”
BOA officials also claimed the cost of the legal action will cost less than their budgeted £100,000 after Cas ordered all parties should bear their own costs.
© Sportsbeat 2012