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British track officials pursue tougher doping penalties

Just weeks after issuing a bold anti-doping manifesto, British track officials are forging ahead with an effort to combat cheating in their scandal-ridden sport.

The national federation will introduce a policy by which any athlete guilty of a serious doping violation will never again be allowed to represent Britain, insidethegames.com has reported.

In the past, cheaters have resumed competing for their country after they served their doping sanctions. UK Athletics will ask them to sign a new contract, agreeing to lifetime bans, at some point before the upcoming world indoor championships in March.

“We won’t know for sure how this measure will stand up legally unless and until it is tested," Niels de Vos, the federation’s chief executive, was quoted as saying. “But we are going to do it, that is for sure, and we are prepared to fight this through the courts if need be.”

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UK Athletics is reacting to allegations of corruption within the international track federation and a recent report that detailed systematic doping among Russian athletes.

Serious violations often carry international bans of up to four years. In addition to increasing that penalty, the British federation has also suggested drawing a line in the record books and starting over.

UK Athletics and other sports organizations have previously failed in attempts to enforce harsher standards.


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