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Edwards happy to see BOA ban gone; OLYMPICS.

FORMER Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards is happy that the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for drug cheats looks set to be overturned.

The BOA revealed last week they were resigned to defeat in their battle to keep a by-law which has allowed them since 1992 to ban any drug cheats from competing at a future Olympics for life.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) insist the by-law is "non-compliant" with their global charter on anti-doping, which states an athlete found guilty of taking a prohibited substance should be given a two-year ban.

The news that the BOA expect to lose their case, which is being heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), was met with disappointment by leading British figures in the Olympic movement such as London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and four-time gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy.

Edwards (pictured), who won gold at the Sydney Olympics, does not agree, claiming he thinks a lifetime ban is too harsh, although he does admit a two-year suspension is too lenient.

"Athletes should get a second chance. I wouldn't personally support a lifetime ban," Edwards said.

"The reason the BOA brought in their by-law is that because four-year bans for a serious drug offence turned into two. Two years is simply not enough. It's too lenient. It sends out the wrong kind of message.

"An athlete should miss one Olympic cycle if they test positive for drugs.

"What the world needs to do is to unite and introduce four-year bans. Then we would be in a much stronger position."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2012
Words:260
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