BOA to 'vigorously defend' policy on drug cheats
Thursday 17 November 2011
Colin Moynihan today declared the British Olympic Association will "vigorously defend" their selection policy in the face of a challenge from the World Andi-Doping Agency.
The matter will be taken before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in order to secure clarification over the BOA's position of a lifetime ban for drug cheats.
"Today the BOA board unanimously agreed to inform WADA that it will vigorously defend the interests of clean athletes by seeking a hearing before CAS to address the enforceability of its selection policy," said Moynihan, the BOA's chairman.
The BOA enforce a lifetime ban for doping offenders and are the only national Olympic committee to adopt this position.
In a statement read out at a press conference held after today's regularly-scheduled board meeting, Moynihan confirmed that the BOA will respond to WADA's challenge of their stance at CAS.
WADA wrote to the BOA in October requesting the matter be taken before CAS, a suggestion that was ignored.
A second letter arrived from WADA in the last 48 hours outlining a legal position that is strongly dispute by BOA, who have now agreed to seek a judgement from CAS.
"The BOA wants to ensure that the athletes' voice is heard and as such the BOA has set out to vigorously defend any challenge to the selection policy, as it is a clear expression of the will and commitment of British Olympic athletes," said Moynihan.
"That challenge is now before the BOA. The BOA has received correspondence from the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) which confirms that it believes the BOA eligibility by-law is non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Of course, the BOA strongly disagrees.
"In light of this development, at a meeting today the BOA Board of Directors agreed to inform WADA that it will vigorously defend the interests of clean athletes by seeking a hearing before the CAS to address the enforceability of its selection policy, and bring clarity and closure to this issue.
"Above all, the BOA hopes that raising this issue in this way will ensure the world of sport has an open and honest debate about the status and future of the anti-doping movement."
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