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WADA set to extend doping bans from 2 years to 4 years from 2015

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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