WADA foresees tougher doping sanctions

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ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) – The World Anti-Doping Agency might lengthen bans from two to four years if it finds athletes or their entourages deliberately violated drug rules.

Revising the anti-doping code will be discussed at a Nov. 15-17 meeting in Madrid, Spain, WADA vice president Jean-Francois Lamour said before the All Africa Games.

“We are capable of going to a sanction of four years,” Lamour said. “This is a figure that has been mentioned and still needs to be ratified.”

He said doping authorities would be more lenient where appropriate.

“I am opposed to a zero sanction, but we are capable of going below the floor that has been fixed in a case that shows there was no clear intention of doping,” Lamour said.

He added: “I think that we shall be much harder and stricter for sports people or an entourage that wants to cheat and that employs all means to cheat, but at the same time use greater flexibility in the application of the code.”

Lamour said WADA hopes to make changes that would allow a clearer understanding of the code by athletes and the public. He said the revision of the code also would address the process of testing and punishment.

“It seems indispensable to us to shorten the delays between … the analysis of the first and second sample, for example, so that we can move much quicker in establishing a sanction where it is deemed necessary,” he said.

WADA has previously called for quicker sanctioning because of the slow progress of two of the major scandals of 2006 – the positive test of Tour de France champion Floyd Landis and the investigation into Spain’s Operation Puerto doping scandal.

AP-ES-07-10-07 1629EDT

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