Moynihan seeks tougher drugs bans


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The Independent Online

Colin Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, believes tougher sanctions have to be imposed on athletes who fail drug tests. The BOA yesterday presented their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold their life ban on drug cheats competing in the Olympics. CAS will make their decision by mid-April and if it goes against the BOA it would make the likes of Dwain Chambers and David Millar available for selection.

The BOA are also assembling their proposals for the revision of the world anti-doping code, which have to be submitted by the end of this week, and believe the current two-year ban for first-time offenders is not enough.

"We need tougher sanctions," said Moynihan. "The two-year sanction is ineffective. We will be reinforcing our belief that over and above those sanctions national Olympic committees should have autonomy to determine selection policies, take into account issues such as team moral and integrity when determining selection."

The BOA's defence against the world anti-doping authority's decision to declare their bylaw non-compliant with the anti-doping code leans heavily on a moral argument. Moynihan said yesterday that having the ability not to select drug cheats was similar to refusing to pick athletes involved in match-fixing or racist behaviour.

"If someone was proved to have been involved in match fixing I'm sure the BOA would take a very tough line and not select them," he said. "Any overt racist behaviour that damaged the moral and the performance of team-mates or the team would be unacceptable."

Moynihan declared himself "cautiously optimistic" after the four-and-a-half hour hearing in central London, but conceded the outcome would be determined by "finer points of law" rather than any moral argument.