Athletes who dope will lose the right to represent their country in the UK

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Athletes in Britain will be asked by the sport’s national governing body, UK Athletics, to sign an agreement that will ban them from competing for Great Britain and Northern Ireland if they are found guilty of a serious doping offence.

Speaking at a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee meeting on doping in athletics, UK Athletics boss Ed Warner stated “if you want to be selected, one of the things you have to do is sign,” and told British MPs that such an agreement “has never been tested” in court but said UKA was talking to its lawyers.

“The World Indoor Championships are in America in March. Every time you compete for Britain you have to sign a team member’s agreement with us which means you behave in a certain way, don’t behave in other ways, and so on,”

Warner wants the agreement to come into play ahead of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships that take place in Portland, Oregon this March.

“What we are going to try and achieve this time is that athletes picked for the team in March, in the team member’s agreement, sign up to say if in future I am ever convicted of a serious doping offence, I’m saying here and now I know I will be forfeiting my right ever to be picked for Britain again.”

Under current conditions, this would limit athletes from competing for their country at events such as world and European Championships but not the Olympic and Paralympic Games as the latter’s teams are selected by the British Olympic Association.

Warner added: “I think any sensible clean athlete will have no problem, when they have got the team member’s agreement under their nose, signing that to say I’m on the team for the World Indoors. If they are subsequently banned then there is no way back for them.

“That is much easier to achieve that retrospectively saying someone was banned in the past, can they now come back on the team.

“Looking forwards, if we can draw a line and say in future to come on to the team you have to say if I’m ever banned in future I’ll never be picked again, that’s achievable. That’s much more likely to stand up in a court of law.”


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First published on: 26 January, 2016 12:00 am