LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 1. FINA, swimming's internation al governing body, issued a "clarification" regarding its treatment of swimmers suspended for more than two years following the federation's adoption of a two-year penalty in July.
"Following the enforcement from 11 September 2003 of the new FINA Doping Control Rules, which comply with the World Anti-Doping Code accepted at the Copenhagen Conference on Anti-Doping 5 March 2003, and were approved at the FINA Extraordinary Congress last July in Barcelona, and because of some information published in the media that were incomplete concerning reduction of sanctions for some athletes suspended for abuse of prohibited substances, FINA would like to clarify that:
* "A transitional rule allowing FINA to reduce the remaining suspension running at the day of enforcement to comply with new rules was adopted.
* "In doping cases still not finished, FINA accepts the application of the new rules with a maximum sanction of two years ineligibility for use of prohibited substances.
* "In the name of fairness against competitors sanctioned according to the old rules and applying the principle of “lex mitior” used by the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in several awards, reduction of sanctions have been made in a few cases.
* "In accordance with the old FINA Doping Control Rules, competitors who had used anabolic agents and similar drugs were sanctioned with a four years suspension for the first offence. FINA searched acceptance for such a rule in the World Anti-Doping Code during the preparatory phase of the Code. In the end, however, the Code became approved with a two years ineligibility for abuse of prohibited substances."