Radcliffe calls for life bans

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Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Paula Radcliffe has called for life bans for any athlete found guilty of doping, amid allegations the practice is widespread in Russian sport.

Last week a German television documentary presented what it claimed was evidence of widespread drugs use, while it also alleged that corruption extends beyond Russia and implicated the IAAF in covering up the abuse.

The Russian Athletics Federation says the allegations are untrue, while the IAAF’s independent ethics commission is already investigating the allegations and the World Anti-Doping Agency has revealed it will follow suit.

Radcliffe, the women’s marathon world record holder, described the allegations as “shocking and sickening” and despite WADA saying that life bans for athletes convicted of doping offences are unenforceable in law, she believes that any athlete guilty of the offence should not be allowed to return to the sport.

“I would advocate a life ban for anybody intentionally doping but we know that unfortunately that can’t be implemented for legal reasons,” Radcliffe told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“Stepping up to a four-year ban was a big step and I think I’d like to see sanctions come into place for federations when they pass a certain number of positive cases and certainly for the entourage – that is the coaches and the managers.

“The independent testing bodies maybe need to be taken away from countries if they can’t be trusted and I think sanctions for that country competing in events like the world championships, like the Olympic Games.

“If it is true that 99 per cent of athletes are cheating then maybe Russia should not be in the world championships and not take part in the next Olympic Games.

“I think it shouldn’t just be Russia that’s singled out here but any country that isn’t abiding by the WADA code of practice, and in athletics the IAAF code of practice and anti-doping rules, and implementing sanctions and testing as they should, then maybe we should look at whether they are allowed to take part in the world championships.”

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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