BOA to embrace cheats if rule banned
December 23, 2011
Drugs cheats will be "fully embraced" by the British Olympic Association if the bylaw banning them from all future Games is ruled unlawful next year.
This was according to BOA chairman Lord Moynihan.
The BOA are to challenge the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that the lifetime ban is "non-compliant" with their code at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Both the BOA and WADA are hoping CAS will make a decision before the end of April.
Moynihan insisted the bylaw had the overwhelming support of British athletes, but said the likes of sprinter Dwain Chambers would be welcomed back into Team GB if the CAS ruling went against them.
"If (the bylaw) is overturned by the lawyers, you can rest assured they will be fully embraced into the team, they will have the same treatment as anybody else and we will wish them luck," Moynihan told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.
"We are going to CAS to try to win this case, we believe we need to do so on behalf of clean athletes and reflect the 90-95% of athletes who consistently ask for this selection policy."
Moynihan said the BOA's case was a strong one, adding: "We have full autonomy to decide who we are going to select and we believe that is a very strong position in front of CAS.
"This is not a sanction or double jeopardy, this is a selection policy. The right of team selectors is the basis for a strong appeal."
Moynihan revealed the costs of the legal fight would be made public in end-of-year accounts.
He also rejected the suggestion that the BOA's lifetime ban offered no chance of redemption for drugs cheats.
"Those who have knowingly cheated other athletes out of selection did so knowingly, they knew the consequences of it," he added. "It doesn't leave me angry, it leaves me very sad about those guys.
"They made the decision to cheat their fellow athletes, they knew the price they were going to pay and ultimately when you talk about redemption you've got to talk about the redemption of those clean athletes who were denied selection as a result of an athlete who was taking a cocktail of drugs to enhance their performance, and denied that athlete who has trained week in week out, year in year out, the chance of getting selected for the pinnacle of their sporting career, namely the Olympic Games.
"You never hear of them again, they get no redemption in the whole of their life.
"My worry at the moment is that the so-called World Anti-Doping Agency has a policy which is obviously different to us, that you only lose two years, however serious the offence is.
"So if you time it right after an Olympic Games, you would never miss an Olympic Games. Where's the redemption for clean athletes?"