THE SIDELINES : Britain Won’t Lift Suspensions

From Times Wire Services

Athletes who have completed drug suspensions will be ineligible for most British track meets, even if they have been reinstated by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. The decision means that Ben Johnson of Canada and Greg Foster and Larry Myricks of the United States will be banned for life from invitational and Grand Prix meets in Britain.

But the restrictions adopted by the British Amateur Athletic Board would allow those reinstated to participate in international championships and events involving national teams.

“Any overseas athlete who has been found guilty under IAAF laws of drug-taking or its equivalent, or who has publicly admitted to taking drugs, could only compete in Britain . . . in major championships in this country or international matches,” the board decided.

The IAAF allows first-time drug offenders to return to competition after serving a two-year suspension, but spokesman Paul Fraser said the organization has no problem with national federations increasing drug penalties.