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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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.
In the clip below, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.
Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.
VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics
NBC Olympics will partner with Snapchat for daily “Live Stories” and an NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel (co-produced with Buzzfeed) during the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Games.
The Live Stories allows Snapchatters attending select U.S. Olympic Trials events and the Rio Games to contribute photo and video Snaps to the Snapchat-curated story.
The Live Stories will include behind-the-scenes and fan moments, and Snapchat will feature NBC’s Rio Olympic brand marks, logos and more.
The Discover channel will be live from Aug. 4 (one day before the Opening Ceremony) through Aug. 22 (one day after the Closing Ceremony).
From NBC Sports Group:
Buzzfeed will leverage NBC’s access to athletes, as well as clips and shots from inside and outside Rio Olympic venues, to bring Snapchatters a fresh, mobile-first look at the Games.
MORE: Full Olympic Trials broadcast schedule