Drugs In Sport: Fifa among drugs ban dissenters

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The Independent Online
ALL OLYMPIC sports - except for football, tennis and cycling - agreed yesterday to a package of measures aimed at unifying the fight against drugs.

International sports federations endorsed a single Olympic medical code that calls for a minimum two-year suspension for athletes found guilty of taking steroids and other serious performance-enhancing drugs. The sanction for a second offence would be a life ban.

The resolution says that any federations which fail to comply with the agreement could be dropped from the Olympics. Fifa, football's governing body, expressed reservations about the two-year penalty on grounds that certain banned drugs have no performance-enhancing benefits for footballers.

Fifa, the International Tennis Federation and the International Cycling Union all objected to the resolution.

The IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, said he was confident the three federations would sign up to the agreement before the world anti- doping conference in Lausanne in February.

"These three federations have reservations but, after consulting with their governing bodies, I'm sure they will agree," Samaranch said. "I think all federations will remain on the Olympic programme. The policy of the IOC is not to threaten the federations."

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