IOC’s Fredericks Claims Drugs Cheats Deserve Lifetime Ban

May 3, 2011

Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, Frankie Fredericks has revealed he wants the Olympic ban on drugs cheats to stay despite a challenge from the United States.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) want the rule preventing defending Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt from participating at London 2012 to be scrapped and the IOC have agreed to let the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decide whether the controversial eligibility rule should be upheld.

The CAS has been asked to determine the validity of IOC Rule 45, which bars any athlete receiving a doping sanction of greater than six months from competing at the next Olympic Games.

Fredricks, a member of the IOC’s ruling Executive, believes the lifetime ban should remain in place, stating: “I like the British Olympic Association (BOA) rule which states that if you test positive drugs you are banned from the Olympics for life.”

Fredericks won a total of four Olympic silver medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, one of which was behind 100 metres gold medallist Linford Christie, who was later suspended for two years after testing positive for banned anabolic steroids.

Fredericks added: “If somebody wins an Olympic medal, you want to know that it is clean and that it can never be taken away and obviously that is not the case where drug cheats are concerned.

“There are obviously some people out there that think you can be fully rehabilitated after a two-year drug ban but I am not convinced.

“I think a life time ban is the right incentive to stop drug cheats, to keep them out of the sport and to give more credibility to being an Olympic champion.”

The IOC have stated that the CAS ruling will be widely accepted meaning that sprinter Dwain Chambers could challenge the BOA’s by-law 25 which prevents any athlete with a doping ban from representing Team GB at the Olympics.