Anti doping agency also extends statute of limitations period, and decides to retain B sample

The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) will reportedly extend the standard term of suspension for a first doping offence from two years to four from 2015 as it adopts a tougher stance against drugs cheats. Changes will also be made to the statute of limitations, which will be extended to up to 14 years.

The proposed changes to the World Anti Doping Code were made at an extraordinary meeting of the organisation held to coincide with the European Council’s session in the French city.

According to Ves Sport news agency, quoted on the Russian website RT, Natalia Zhelanova, head of the Russian Sports Ministry’s Anti-Doping Department, said: “The standard period of disqualification for the first doping offence is extended [from two] to four years, besides for a number of exceptions.”

The new version of the code, due to come into effect on 1 January 2015, will also extend powers of anti-doping organisations in terms of where they can test athletes, she explained.

“The new edition of the WADA Code directly affirms that the testing can be performed at any place and any time by any anti-doping organization which has jurisdiction over an athlete.”

Other changes agreed include all of an athlete’s results during the period of disqualification being annulled, including in cases where a retroactive ban has been applied.

The statute of limitations for using or possessing banned substances will be extended from eight years to ten years, and to fourteen years in cases including prescription or distribution of performance enhancing drugs.

Ms Zhelanova said that despite what was described as a ‘heated debate’ on the issue of whether to scrap the B sample, which an athlete can ask to be tested should their A sample provide an adverse analytical finding, it had been decided to retain it.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.