Track and field’s international governing body (IAAF) announced intentions to return to a four-year ban for serious doping offenses beginning in 2015.
The current sentence for first-time offenders is up to two years.
“The new WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code, which will come into force on 1 January 2015, will reflect our firm commitment to have tougher penalties and the IAAF will return to 4 year sanctions for serious doping offences,” the IAAF said in a statement posted on its website.
As strong as that statement is, there’s no guarantee that the four-year ban will be implemented. The new WADA code is up for approval at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg from Nov. 12-15.
“The four-year ban is not a slam dunk,” Abby Hoffman, the IAAF’s anti-doping task force coordinator, told The Associated Press. “We need to be sure that space is carved in in the anti-doping campaign for athletics to impose the ban that we know our athletes and our members want.”
Track and field has been rocked by doping news the last two months, from Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown failing drug tests to a Turkish scandal that includes more than 40 athletes, including teenagers being given illegal substances.
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London Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas was among four Olympic medalists appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, in one of Barack Obama‘s final acts as president.
Also appointed were Olympic soccer champion Carli Lloyd, hockey silver medalist Caitlin Cahow and fencing bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Olympic medalists Dominique Dawes, Allyson Felix, Grant Hill, Michelle Kwan, Alonzo Mourning and Chris Paul already have roles on the council.
One month after taking gold in London, Douglas led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention, where Obama was formally nominated to run for re-election.
Douglas also appeared on “The Tonight Show” with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012 and joined the First Lady for a Let’s Move event in Chicago in 2013.
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For the second time in as many months, Ryan Lochte stars in a jocular ad making a veiled reference to his Rio Olympic gas-station incident.
The swimmer wipes away “the past” on a foggy bathroom mirror and throws a blond wig out of a sunroof in a one-minute Power Bar video published Tuesday.
The company’s tag line in the video is “Clean Start.”
“For example, I am going to recommit myself to water sports,” Lochte says in the spot.
The ad follows a December video for Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, where Lochte starred in a spot with a closing banner that read, “Pine Bros.: In this Season of Forgiveness.”
Lochte had previously lost sponsorship deals, including with Speedo, after his Rio Olympic gas-station incident for which he was suspended through June by USA Swimming, plus for the world championships in July.
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