UKA chairman Ed Warner warns more work needed to tackle doping

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Published: Wednesday 11th January 2017 by The News Editor

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UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has warned that the sport still has plenty of work to do in order to deter drug cheats.

The governing body has launched its own ‘Clean Athletics’ brand, which will replace the former anti-doping department, and has again called for hard-hitting measures to be brought in against dopers.

A year on from publishing ‘A Manifesto for Clean Athletics’, UK Athletics has reaffirmed its intention to enforce lifetime bans against any British athlete guilty of a serious anti-doping violation.

It has also urged for bans to be extended “to a minimum of eight years” for serious doping offences to ensure that cheating athletes miss two Olympic or Paralympic cycles.

Warner said: “As we announced last year, the integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015. However 2016 saw a seismic change in the way athletics responded to doping in sport.

“We are using this one year on moment to launch our own Clean Athletics brand and would urge other sports to follow suit to remain focused on what they want to achieve.”

The Russian Athletics Federation remains suspended by the IAAF over state-sponsored doping while the country was banned entirely from competing at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

National anti-doping organisations (NADOs) met in Dublin on Tuesday and concluded that Russia should be banned from both competing in and hosting international sporting events.

“The stances taken by both the IAAF for athletics and the IPC on behalf of all Paralympic sports could be seen as a turning point, but there is still much to do,” added Warner.

“Watching federations such as Athletics Ethiopia announce its own lifetime bans is another step in the right direction.”

UK Athletics also insists athletes competing in world championships “have a valid blood/biological passport” and have been subject to a predetermined number of in-competition and out-of-competition tests by the IAAF in the preceding 12 months.

Warner said: “Overall, we are concerned that the pace of change remains too slow, in spite of the Russian situation and the spotlight it shed on WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and its relationship with the IOC last summer.

“There remains too much denial in too many quarters, but we will continue to work to make progress in the areas we can.”

Published: Wednesday 11th January 2017 by The News Editor

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