British Olympic Association standing firm over drug cheats

THE British Olympic Association (BOA) have been left to fight on their own after Canada and New Zealand dropped their rulings over drug cheats competing at the Olympic Games.

The BOA are sticking by their ruling which says that drug cheats should receive a lifetime ban from the Olympics but that has been deemed to violate the World Anti-Doping Agency’s global code.

The case is now likely to be decided by sport’s highest court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Canada and New Zealand have dropped their rule, which mirrored the International Olympic Committee’s Rule 45, after American athlete LaShawn Merritt’s successful court challenge.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director general David Howman confirmed that the BOA are now the only national Olympic committee to have an extra rule regarding drugs cheats.

“The Olympic Committees that had the clause that mirrored the IOC have agreed that rule is now null and void.”

Meanwhile, the IOC are confident the WADA ruling will not affect British athletes competing in London 2012; technically the BOA could be barred from the Games if it does not comply with the anti-doping code.

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However, that is unlikely because a decision by CAS is expected within the next three months.

An IOC statement read: “It is important to make it clear that the anti-doping agency in the UK - the UKAD - is fully compliant.

“The BOA has only been deemed non-compliant on a technicality rather than any unwillingness of the BOA to fight doping.

“We are confident that the BOA and UKAD will do their utmost to ensure clean British athletes will compete in London and this ruling will have absolutely no effect on British athletes competing in London.”

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