AOC wants athletes to declare no past doping

AOC wants athletes to declare no past doping

BRISBANE, Australia - The Associated Press
AOC wants athletes to declare no past doping

Hodge has resigned from the CA board after admitting to drug use. AFP photo

In one of the toughest propositions ever made to stamp out doping, future Australian Olympians will have to sign a declaration that they’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and go to jail if they lie.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said on Nov. 2 that he will propose at an AOC executive board meeting on Nov. 16 that for future games, all team members must sign a statutory declaration saying they have no “doping history.”

“If they don’t sign, they don’t go to the games, they won’t be selected. What I don’t want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has,” Coates said of his zero-tolerance approach.

Zero tolerance

The statutory declaration would form part of the Team Agreement which must be signed before someone is selected in an Olympic squad. Coates said anyone lying on a statutory declaration could have criminal charges laid, and be imprisoned for five to seven years.

If adopted it would affect athletes in contention for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.

The move won immediate support from Australian Olympians, with kayaking gold medalist Dave Smith saying “other countries should follow Australia’s lead.”

Olympic triathlete Courtney Atkinson told Australian Associated Press it was a positive response to the Armstrong saga.

Last month, Australian cycling officials Matt White and Stephen Hodge lost their jobs after they admitted to doping earlier in their careers.

Australian professional road cycling team Orica-GreenEDGE fired team director White, and Cycling Australia (CA) vice president Hodge quit after admitting to doping during his time as a professional rider.