BOA expect defeat over lifetime ban for drugs cheats


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The Independent Online

British Olympic Association chiefs are increasingly resigned to defeat next week in their court battle to keep their lifetime ban for drugs cheats.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will deliver a ruling next week after the BOA challenged the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) for declaring the ban "non-compliant".

It has always been accepted that the BOA had an uphill struggle and although they have had no indication from the court, senior BOA officials have confirmed to the Press Association they are preparing for defeat.

It means that sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar, who have both previously served bans for doping, now look set to be part of Team GB for the London 2012 Olympics.

BOA communications director Darryl Seibel said however that there had been no guidance at all from CAS. He said: "We have not received the decision from CAS although we expect it will be next week, and neither have we received any indication from CAS as to what the decision might be."

Back in January, British IOC member Sir Craig Reedie told the Press Association he believed it was likely that CAS would overturn the lifetime ban.

Reedie, who sits on the boards of both the BOA and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), was at the original meeting of the BOA in 1991 when the lifetime ban was passed and who spent many years defending the ban while BOA chairman.

He said however that the BOA "hold the moral high ground" and that can be used as a launchpad to change the WADA code, but that having overturned the IOC's similar ban known as Osaka rule CAS were unlikely to divert from that position.

Reedie said in January: "The BOA rule is different to the Osaka rule in that it has an appeal process but my feeling is that the same CAS panel as ruled on the IOC is unlikely to change its mind.

"If it is not accepted by CAS and it is regarded as a sanction, then the BOA rules could well be used in the future as a basis for writing a change to the WADA code.

"Morally, the BOA hold the high ground, and if you set the Olympics as a slightly special sporting event many people would agree with that."