Athletics: European move to reduce drug bans

The European Athletic Association said yesterday that they will back proposals by the International Amateur Athletic Federation to reduce bans for drug offences to two years.

The current length of the ban for serious doping offences is four years, but national laws in several leading athletics nations have prevented the full ban being imposed in several cases. Carl Olaf Homen, EAA president, said that the decision by the EAA council was unanimous.

"Two years ago in Gothenburg the EAA support was divided [for reducing the ban to two years] but the situation has changed," he said.

"Many countries, owing to their national laws, do not have the possibility to implement a four-year ban. In reality we must have the same ban in all countries."

Homen also announced that there were three candidates to stage the 2002 European championships: Amsterdam, Lausanne and Munich. A decision on which city will prevail will be made on 9 October.