Athletics: Krabbe is talk of town

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(First Edition)

KATRIN KRABBE may be out of town but she is guaranteed to be the talk of it with drugs on the agenda at the International Amateur Athletic Federation's congress starting today in Stuttgart, where the World Championships open at the weekend.

While the banned German sprinter has settled for a holiday in Scandinavia, it was her battles with authority over two drugs bans since winning the 100 and 200 metres during the last championships two years ago that have resulted in calls for radical changes in the sport's anti-doping laws.

Fearing athletes may win future cases in the courts, the German federation proposes a softer approach under which athletes will be banned from between one and four years for a first doping offence. A second offence would result in a minimum suspension of two years up to life. A third offence would mean an automatic life ban, which is presently imposed for a second offence.