WADA to rule if UK in violation of doping code

BY foxsports • November 21, 2011

The host nation for the 2012 Olympics could be declared noncompliant with global anti-doping rules this weekend because of its lifetime ban for drug violators.

In an escalating dispute between two major sports bodies, World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey accused the British Olympic Association on Thursday of making ''misinformed allegations'' and failing to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said Wednesday that he felt compelled to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland because of pressure from the doping agency to drop the rule.

''WADA has simply suggested that the BOA consider its rule in light of all the information available to it,'' Fahey said in a statement. ''WADA has not taken, and will not take, this matter to the CAS.''

Fahey said Britain's compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code - which sets out drug-testing rules and sanctions across all sports and countries - would be examined at a WADA board meeting Sunday in Montreal.

''The BOA, as a signatory to the code, has agreed to accept and implement all of the provisions of the code, including those relating to sanctions, and to abide by them,'' Fahey said.

''Any decisions as to whether they have been compliant or not in relation to that will be determined by the WADA Foundation Board on Sunday.''

Under IOC rules, compliance with the doping code is mandatory for the entire Olympic movement.

Any sport or national body that fails to comply could technically face being kicked out of the Olympics, although that sanction would seem unlikely for the BOA going into next year's London Games.

The BOA's lifetime Olympic ban has come under pressure since CAS threw out an IOC rule barring athletes who have received drug bans of more than six months from competing in the next games. The court ruled last month that the IOC ban amounted to a second sanction and did not comply with the WADA code.

WADA requested the BOA review its lifetime ban in light of the CAS decision.

The doping body on Thursday released copies of letters sent to Moynihan on Oct. 7 and Nov. 14 asking for a review of the bylaw. The second letter included a copy of a legal opinion from prominent British lawyer Michael Beloff, who found the BOA rule ''not compatible'' with the WADA code.

''WADA would appreciate a proper reply to the correspondence,'' Fahey said.

The British bylaw has been in place since 1992. Among those who would become eligible for the London Games if the rule is overturned are British sprinter Dwain Chambers, who served a two-year ban in the BALCO steroid scandal, and cyclist David Millar, who was suspended for two years for EPO use.

Moynihan promised Wednesday that the BOA would vehemently defend the rule, which he said had the support of more than 90 percent of British athletes and was meant to protect clean athletes.

Earlier this week, Moynihan gave a speech in which he accused WADA of failing to catch major drug cheats and of dragging the fight into a ''dark age.'' He called for an independent review of WADA, which was formed 10 years ago to coordinate international efforts against doping in sports.