POSTED: January 12th 2011

Rest of the world 'should follow BOA lead' on Olympic life ban for drug cheats

Frankie Fredericks: mixed memories / IOCmedia
Frankie Fredericks: mixed memories / IOCmedia

KEIR RADNEDGE in Lausanne / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE, Jan 12: Frankie Fredericks, chairman of the IOC athletes’ commission, has come out in favour of the hardline on dope cheats taken by the British Olympic Association – in defiance of much of the rest of the athletics world.

The BOA, alone among national Olympic committees, insists on a lifetime ban from the Olympic Games for any athlete guilty of drug-taking while the International Olympic Committee’s softer ‘Osaka Rule’ bars from the next Games any athlete suspended for more than six months.

Fredericks, speaking after a joint meeting between the athletes commission and the executive board, said; “I like the BOA rule and if every country could adopt that it would solve many things; we would know that everyone who competes at the Olympic Ganes is clean.

"I know it’s difficult because we have 205 countries and each one has its own laws but if would be good because it would give more credibility to an Olympic champion.”

Fredericks refused to be drawn over the ongoing case of Shawn LeMerritt. He is disputing a ban on a defence of his Olympic 400m title in 2012 though July this year sees the expiry of his suspension for using an over-the-counter male enhancement product. He will then be free to compete in the US Olympic qualifiers.

Merritt won gold in the 4x400 relay in Beijing in 2008 and in the 400m at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.

The athletes commission reviewed events at the winter Oympics in Vancouver and at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and welcomed steps towards creating a draft code of conduct for competitors’ entourages.

Keywords · IOC · athletes commission · Fredericks · doping bans · Merritt · BOA · British Olympic Association

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