The World Anti-Doping Agency doubled bans for “serious doping offenders” from two years to four years last November, to be implemented in 2015, but many would like to see lifetime bans.
WADA has looked into it, and it doesn’t appear to be an option.
“Our advice was that [life bans] would be challenged and would not be sustainable in law,” WADA president Craig Reedie told the BBC. “A four-year penalty will stand up in court and takes a person out of the cycle of an Olympic Games.”
Doping suspensions have been prevalent in track and field over the last year, with Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown failing drug tests but having their bans shortened (or, as in Campbell-Brown’s case, cleared altogether).