• Drugs in Sport

Drug cheats now face four-year ban

ESPN staff
August 8, 2013

Athletes found guilty of doping will be given a four-year ban from 2015, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced.

The decision reverses a decision made in 1997 to cut the length of the ban from four to two years to bring athletics into line with most other sports. But with a number of high-profile cases attracting adverse attention, the IAAF has seen fit to act.

The IAAF has asked the World Anti-Doping Agency to press for widespread four-year bans.

"The IAAF has an ethical obligation to the overwhelming majority of athletes and officials who believe in clean sport," it said in a statement.

IAAF vice-president Sergey Bubka longer suspensions were necessary to eradicate doping in athletics. "It's the only way to succeed. We must be harsh, we must be strong. Clearly today it's unpleasant to see some positive cases but we can see systems start to work, and really well.

"We will continue to fight. We understand it is tough but we are getting stronger and we will continue to do our best."

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