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Sunday, November 18, 2012
WADA wants to double doping bans

Associated Press

MONTREAL -- The World Anti-Doping Agency wants to double suspensions for all doping cheats from two to four years.

The proposal is included in a new draft code that will be reviewed in December and must be approved next year, although it would not actually take effect until 2015.

WADA president John Fahey presented a draft of the 2015 code to the organization's foundation board in Montreal on Sunday, a day after its executive committee had discussed the need to make changes in order to step up the doping fight.

"It is clear from the number of submissions we received that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community, to strengthen the sanction," Fahey said in a statement. "This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans."

The present draft substantially strengthens the sanctions for serious violations for the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, trafficking and prohibited methods.

Fahey also is unhappy that the agency won't receive additional funding for the second straight year. WADA has an annual income of about $28 million.

"While we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping," Fahey said. "WADA has dipped into reserves over the last two years to cover shortfalls for its operating costs. But if funding continues to remain the same then the agency will be forced to cut back its activities."