After Australia recently got tough on performance-enhancing drugs, the World Anti-Doping Agency is looking to follow suit by aiming to double suspensions for those caught cheating from two years to four years.
WADA President John Fahey submitted a draft of the organization’s new code on Sunday, which will be reviewed in December and, if approved, could go into effect as early as 2015. The proposal calls for stiffer penalties regarding anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, and trafficking.
“It is clear from the number of submissions we received that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community, to strengthen the sanction,” Fahey said in a statement. “This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.”
Australia showed its teeth against doping last week when its Olympic Committee accepted a proposal that will force its athletes to sign a declaration stating they have no doping history. Athletes caught lying could face up to seven years in jail, and those unwilling to sign the declaration will be ineligible for the Olympics.
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.
The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.
Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.
“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.
Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.
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