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Monday, December 12, 2016
Singleton's WOA Back Calls for Return of Osaka Rule

The World Olympians Association (WOA) in which Bermuda’s Patrick Singleton serves as Treasurer has said that all athletes who commit a doping offence should be banned from the next edition of the Olympic Games and other major Championships.

In a statement today, the organization which represents more than 120,000 Olympians worldwide called for the reintroduction of the controversial Osaka Rule, which bars athletes convicted of serious doping offences from the next Olympics.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission vice-chair Tony Estanguet called for athletes who have served suspensions longer than six months to be excluded from the next Games at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board meeting in Glasgow last month.

"We wish to state that automatic exclusion from the next Olympic Games and major championships should be mandatory for all athletes who are found guilty of having committed a doping offence, as recently proposed to WADA by the IOC," the WOA statement said today.

The Osaka Rule - previously Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter - was originally drafted to allow the IOC to prevent athletes who had received a doping sanction of more than six months from representing their country at the Games.

It was introduced by the IOC in 2007 during the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Osaka - which gave the rule its name.

It was, however, successfully challenged by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in 2011 on behalf of Beijing 2008 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The USOC claimed the rule was unfair because it was effectively punishing an athlete twice for the same offence and CAS agreed.

The WOA statement today comes after the publication of the second part of the damning McLaren Report on Friday (December 9), which outlined further allegations about doping in Russia.

Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren claimed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes from 30 summer, winter and Paralympic sports were involved in a state-sponsored drug-use scheme which he described as an "institutional conspiracy".

A complicated system of sample manipulation allegedly took place at Russia's home Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, where tests which would have failed were switched for clean ones.

The IOC said McLaren's findings showed that there was a "fundamental attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games".
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