GB athletes face anti-doping contract

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All British athletes may be asked to sign a pledge agreeing to forfeit their Team GB career if they are ever convicted of a serious doping offence.

The contract comes as part of an on going UK Athletics initiative designed to address the current doping crises. Earlier this month UK Athletics (UKA) released A Manifesto for Clean Athletics, which included a series of proposals the national governing body said could be introduced to achieve a ‘new era of clean athletics.’

Speaking at a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee meeting on blood doping in athletics, UKA chairman Ed Warner said the national governing body hopes to introduce the clause into the each of the British Athletics team member's agreements ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

'The World Indoor Championships are in America in March. Every time you compete for Britain you have to sign a team member’s agreement with us which means you behave in a certain way, don’t behave in other ways, and so on,' Warner told the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

'What we are going to try and achieve this time is that athletes picked for the team in March, in the team member's agreement, sign up to say if in future I am ever convicted of a serious doping offence, I’m saying here and now I know I will be forfeiting my right ever to be picked for Britain again.'

Under UKA’s power this would only apply to athletes being selected for events including world and European championships. 'I think any sensible clean athlete will have no problem, when they have got the team member’s agreement under their nose, signing that to say I’m on the team for the World Indoors. If they are subsequently banned then there is no way back for them,' added Warner.

'That is much easier to achieve than retrospectively saying someone was banned in the past, can they now come back on the team. Looking forwards, if we can draw a line and say in future to come on to the team you have to say if I’m ever banned in future I’ll never be picked again, that’s achievable. That’s much more likely to stand up in a court of law.'

The UKA are currently in talks with their lawyers about creating the clause. 'Our intention is that the team in March in Oregon at the World Indoors will have each of them signed an agreement that says if I am ever convicted of a doping offence I know you can’t pick me again, I’m not eligible for selection,' added Warner.

'In so many of these things the fight is worth having because the cause is so important. If X years down the line someone manages through a court of law to overturn that, I think that the moral high ground will have been occupied by UK Athletics through that process and the public will recognise the merit in what we were trying to achieve, which is to keep cheats out of British vests.'

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