WADA to Lengthen Suspensions

Up to four years for first offense

    Photo: Andres Rueda/Flickr

The World Anti-Doping Agency has proposed mandatory four-year sentencing for first-time "real cheats." Under the new language, athletes who use anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, or who traffic in prohibited methods and substances would qualify for the longer suspensions.

Currently, first-time offenders receive a two-year ban. But the rules have been applied irregularly with many offenders having their sentences backdated, effectively reducing their suspensions to only six months to one year.

In addition to upping the mandatory sentencing guidelines, the new WADA code will subject athlete support personnel to suspensions and add flexibility to the sanctioning process.

The code will be put to a vote at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in November.

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