International Association of Athletics Federations announces new code which will see the reintroduction of four-year sanctions for serious doping offences
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed a return to four-year bans for athletes who commit “serious doping offences”.
The current ban for first-time doping offenders is two years, with the length having been reduced from four years in 1997. This two-year sanction currently means that it is possible to return to the sport in time to not miss an Olympic Games on the four-year cycle.
In a statement on anti-doping issued by the IAAF Council at the 49th IAAF Congress held in Moscow ahead of the IAAF World Championships which begin on Saturday, the Council stated it wished to use the the opportunity to “reiterate the IAAF’s longstanding and unwavering commitment against doping in athletics”.
The statement continued: “The IAAF has an ethical obligation to the overwhelming majority of athletes and officials who believe in clean sport. As a leader in this fight the IAAF has built and delivers a programme that is well resourced, far reaching, sophisticated and increasingly able to detect and remove from the sport those who breach our anti-doping rules.
“The new WADA Code, which will come into force on 1 January 2015, will reflect our firm commitment to have tougher penalties and the IAAF will return to four year sanctions for serious doping offences.
“The IAAF will not stint in its resolve to do everything in its power to eradicate cheating and the Council invites Congress to strongly endorse this statement.”
News of the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, which will come into force on January 1, 2015, follows what has been a tough time for the sport, with a number of high-profile athletes, including Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, having admitted to returning positive tests.
Further doping news followed those revelations this week, with confirmation from the Turkish Athletics Federation that 31 of the nation’s athletes had been suspended for two years for doping violations.