NEWS

Tougher rules for athletes under revised Anti-Doping Code

05/12/2013 05:16 EDT | Updated 07/12/2013 05:12 EDT
Members of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are planning to double the number of years an athlete found guilty of doping can be banned from the sport.

The independent international agency met over the weekend in Montreal to finalize changes to the World Anti-Doping Code before taking them to Johannesburg in November, where members will approve the revisions.

In addition to increasing the number of years a player can be banned from two to four, the agency also wants to punish the athlete's accomplices — such as trainers and teammates.

“It says to cheats: ‘We’re going to get you and deal with you even more effectively than we have in the past,’” said WADA president John Fahey.

The updates follow a two-year consultation process, which ended in March. WADA received a total of 174 submissions, which were revised to create a new version of the international code.

According to Fahey, the agency heard a strong demand from athletes to strengthen the consequences for those who intentionally set out to get an advantage by doping.

“We’re in business to protect the overwhelming majority of clean athletes around the world,” Fahey said.

“The way you protect clean athletes and support them is to deal properly and effectively with the cheats.”

Retired professional cyclist Gervais Rioux says he thinks the tougher penalties will help send a strong message.

“We want the clean athletes to win,” he said.

The new code is expected to come into effect in 2015.

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