Drug cheats with bans over six months to miss Games, says IOC

ATHENS, June 5, 2008 (AFP) – Drug cheats will be banned from future Olympics after Beijing 2008 if they are caught and sanctioned for over six months, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday. “An athlete would not be deemed eligible to compete at an edition of the Olympic Games if he or she were caught doping and received sanctions of more than six months in the four years leading up to that Olympic Games edition,” IOC Communications Director Giselle Davies told a news conference.

The new rules come into force as of July 1 but are not retroactive, taking effect from the Beijing Games onwards.

The eligibility restriction stands at any stage in the four-year period leading up to the Games, Davies said.

Should an athlete be caught at Beijing and sanctioned for over six months, they would be unable to compete in the London 2012 Games, she explained.

“The IOC under President Jacques Rogge has a zero tolerance attitude towards doping, and this is another weapon in the armory,” Davies said.

The IOC made the announcement during a three-day series of meetings of its 15-member executive board in Athens, putting into effect a decision reached in Osaka, Japan in August 2007.