London 2012 - Defensive Moynihan slams WADA

Tue, 15 Nov 16:04:00 2011

British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan called on the World Anti-Doping Agency to make big changes to the way it operates after reaffirming his commitment to lifetime Olympic bans for drug cheats.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan - 0

The BOA's ban will prevent former European sprint champion Dwain Chambers competing in next year's London Games.

Chambers has been considering taking legal action after American Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt overturned an International Olympic Committee rule which would have barred him from the Games.

Merritt, who has served a 21-month drugs ban, can compete in London after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that an IOC rule excluding athletes with bans of six months or more from the next Olympic Games was unfair because it amounted to a second sanction.

Speaking at a International Federations forum in Lausanne ahead of a BOA executive meeting on Wednesday, Moynihan said the association's eligibility byelaw was distinct from the IOC rule and did not constitute an additional sanction. He added the "toughest sanctions" should apply to illicit doping.

"In recent days, much has been made of the fact that there is no room for redemption in the BOA's lifetime ban," he said.

"However, I believe we need to ask where in this case is the redemption for the clean athlete denied selection by a competitor who has knowingly cheated, taking the whole 'enchilada' of drugs?

"There is no national team kit for that clean athlete. No redemption for him. And what is worse the cheat, possibly with a lifelong benefit of a course of growth hormones and other drugs, is back again."

Moynihan said despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars in the 10 years since its creation, WADA had been unable to achieve its objectives.

"I would urge WADA to reduce the cost of testing. I hope it will turn to intelligence testing. It must speed up its processes. It must go after the doctors, the coaches, and the entourage who aid and abet the cheats," he said.

"The system put in place by WADA has failed to catch the major drug cheats of our time. The likes of Marion Jones, many cyclists and the BALCO operation are only a few of those who have been tracked down and prosecuted not by WADA but by law enforcement officers.

"So now is a time for change, now is a time for informed review, and now is a time to refocus on our drive to identify those who knowingly cheat their fellow competitors."

Reuters

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