UK Anti Doping Support USOC Plea to Abolish IOC Ruling

April 29, 2011

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has backed the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) attempt to have the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) controversial eligibility rule, preventing defending 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt from running at London 2012 scrapped, which would open the way for British drugs cheats like Dwain Chambers to compete at the Olympics.

The USOC and IOC have asked the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) 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.

Andy Parkinson, the chief executive of UKAD, stated: “I have gone on record previously stating that UK Anti-Doping does not believe that additional eligibility rules provide athletes who are charged with an anti-doping rule violation with any incentive to assist in the fight against doping in sport.

“With London 2012 around the corner, we are very encouraged by this positive development and will watch these proceedings before the CAS with interest.”

Parkinson has previously criticised the rule, claiming that it confuses the situation and impedes the work of organisations like UKAD because there is no incentive for athletes banned for taking drugs to cooperate with them.

“At the least any decision will provide clarity around this area and the timing will ensure that this international issue will be resolved well in advance of the 2012 Games,” Parkinson said.

“The World Anti-Doping Code, agreed at an international level, encourages athletes to provide substantial assistance which can be grounds for a reduction in the sanction period.

“All Anti-Doping Organisations need the ability to offer athletes the motivation to share information with their relevant authorities, therefore assisting to catch those who are involved in the supply of performance enhancing substances.”