PHOENIX, Arizona, May 13. ATHLETES who fail their first drug test could get a ban of up to four years once the World Anti-Doping Agency approves a new policy later this year.
An article from Inside the Games details a two-year consultation process that created the proposed ban, which wouldn't go into effect until 2015. The ban increases suspensions for first-time offenders from two years to four years. It was approved by the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board, but will need approval from the organization's stakeholders at their November meeting.
“It says to cheats: 'We're going to get you and deal with you even more effectively than we have in the past',” said WADA President John Fahey.
Along with the proposed ban increase, WADA wants those associated with athletes who test positive to receive punishment as well. This would include coaches and teammates, according to Inside the Games.
WADA has been looking to inflict harsher punishments on athletes since the International Olympic Committee's Rule 45 was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2011. Rule 45 required athletes to sit out the Olympic Games following the end of their suspension, but the Court ruled it was an extra sanction that was invalid.