IOC backs UK's right to ban drug cheats

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today backed Britain's right to impose a hard-line lifetime ban to stop British drug cheats from competing at the London 2012 Games.

Denis Oswald, chairman of the IOC's co-ordination commission of inspectors, said he "respected the right" of each National Olympic Committee (NOC) to decide independently what behaviour is appropriate for athletes.



He said: "The autonomy of each National Olympic Committee is to establish their own policy on the eligibility of their athletes.



"It is not just about doping - it could be about gambling. This is something for the BOA (British Olympic Association) to determine."



A strong global spotlight has been shone on the issue after US 400m Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt yesterday overturned a ban against competing at the Olympics.



Merritt won a case in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after challenging the IOC's controversial rule 45 that anyone banned for a doping offence for six months or more should miss the next Olympics - even if their suspension has expired.



The BOA's lifetime ban, which has been unsuccessfully challenged by sprinter Dwain Chambers, who has previous served a drugs ban, is even more draconian.



Speaking at the conclusion of a three-day inspection of London's preparations for the 2012 Games, Mr Oswald said: "It is in the Olympic Charter that the NOC has the right to establish the rules of eligibility of the athletes. We fully understand that the BOA has that rule and has had it for a number of years. It has been challenged but it stands and we respect the right of the BOA."



Merritt will now be able to defend his Olympic title. He was banned for 21 months in 2009 for failing a drugs test which he blamed on his use of an off-the-shelf penile-enhancement product.



London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said he backs "zero tolerance to drug use in sport and during the Games".



He described his personal opinion as "unreconstructed - I would go for a life ban".



At least 33 drug cheats from the United States alone who would have missed out on the London 2012 Olympics will now be eligible after the CAS yesterday declared the IOC ruling was "invalid and unenforceable".



The US anti-doping agency USADA lists 33 athletes who would have been prevented from taking part by the IOC - but who can now do so. These include Merritt.



Mr Oswald said the IOC was still studying and discussing the impact of the CAS ruling.



He said the ruling had not been in force at any previous Olympics or major championships and predicted there would be a "very limited" number of athletes headed for London 2012 who could be affected by it.



London 2012 was given another thumbs up by the IOC's co-ordination commission for its preparations for the Games.



This was the ninth and penultimate check-up before the Games begin in July 2012. Meetings and presentations have been held all week to update the inspectors.



They heard reports from London 2012, the British Government, the Greater London Authority, and Transport for London, as well as updates on areas such as services to the athletes, NOCs, International Federations, the media, the Paralympic Games and spectators, as well as updates on topics such as marketing, technology, culture, education and communications.







Mr Oswald said a lot of progress had been made since the last inspection six months ago in a range of areas including ticket sales, cultural events, volunteer recruitment and the 17 sport test events which have been completed over the summer.



Transport, given the huge demands that will be made on the old network system, remains an area that needs ongoing attention.



Mr Oswald said: "I can say that at this stage a lot of progress has been made and a lot of additional information has been given. This is a situation we will have to follow very cautiously until the end."

PA

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices