The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that the
British Olympic Association’s lifetime ban for sanctioned dopers does not adhere to the
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

The ruling means that the BOA will have to drop its byelaw that currently prohibits any British athlete sanctioned for a doping infringement being barred from ever competing in the Olympic Games.

The decision paves the way for cyclist David Millar and runner Dwain Chambers to compete for Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer – if they qualify and are selected by the relevant sporting body.

In a statement issued on Monday, CAS said: “The Bye-Law is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA Code. The CAS confirms the view of the WADA Foundation Board as indicated in its Decision. Therefore, the appeal of BOA is rejected, and the Decision of the WADA Foundation Board is confirmed.” 

Critics of the decision have branded it a step backwards in the fight against doping in sport. CAS made it clear that its decision was based on adherence to regulations, and underlined that is is behind a “worldwide harmonised and consistent fight against doping in sport”.

Millar was handed a two-year suspension in 2004 for his admission to using banned blood booster EPO. If the BOA is forced to change its policy, then the Scot could be selected to ride in the road race in support of Mark Cavendish.

Millar, who is currently recovering from a broken collarbone, has recently expressed some reservations about taking part in the Olympic Games. “I’ve nailed myself to a few crosses and I’m not sure if I’m prepared to go for the final big one on this,” he told BBC Radio Scotland in March.

British Cycling, who are repsonsible for picking the London 2012 cycling squad, published a statement on Monday afternoon in reaction to the CAS decision: “Our team for the Games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we’ll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals. Ahead of that we won’t be speculating on who may or may not be selected.”

WADA had ruled in November last year that the BOA’s ‘eligibility byelaw’ violates its World Anti-Doping Code as it sanctions athletes twice for the same offence. BOA argues that it is not a second sanction, but a matter of eligibility.

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BOA’s lifetime Olympic ban for doping violates WADA code

  • Peter McKenna

    If David Millar is selected, the media coverage in Britain will be dominated by cycling/drugs issue. That would be a very unfortunate result for the sport- whatever happens in the races themselves.

  • stuart stanton

    All this moaning,,,,,,,,,,nobody seemed to complain about the GB road team in Copenhagen. Anyway, if someone could help me hunt down the exact location of the long-defunct Canning Town track it would be wonderful. it was the site of the only appearance in this country by Major Taylor (August 1903) Not even the ‘Cycling’ original reports mention the location. There is an Olympic connection as the US track team want to visit to pay a belated homage – . stujam197@sky.com

  • steve clarke

    I’m with Phil on this, David Millar only confessed to doping after spending a night in police cells.
    This rule sends out the wrong message, I hope the selectors DO NOT select ex dopers!!!!!!

  • Ian

    It really upsets and annoys me to see you all slagging off David Millar, at least he did not contest and fight his conviction for doping (unlike almost all the others) and has since joined and taken an active role in the fight against doping. Have you forgoten to ‘forgive and forget? Also, he has made his position fairly clear re Olympic selection, but even if he was selected and acccepted, I would not hold it against him.

  • derekbiggerstaff

    For Christ’s sake guys, we give murderes a second chance; let’s keep a sense of proportion.

  • Deadly Nedly

    Why should a man be continually punished for something his team wanted him to do 8 years ago now and besides since he took the EPO, firstly it would be gone from his system and secondly he already showed that he was sorry with the work he has done for WADA. I support clean sport the same as any other fan but somebody should be forgiven for things he did wrong in the past!
    Also read his book and that tells you how sorry is!!

  • Colnago dave

    Amongst all this lets not forget that David Miller has constantly said he does not want this to become a personal issue and he was happy to abide by the non plympic ban.

  • phil

    I hope David Millar is not picked. We need to look to the future. I think a rider like Alex Dowsett could do a good job in the TT and road race. If Cavendish wants a bit more experience then someone like Steve Cummings springs to mind. Millar will always be a cheat in my eyes. Let’s not forget that it took the intervention of the French police to expose him. There were no positive tests.

  • MikeCope

    A very sad day and a kick in the teeth for all who support clean sport — why do WADA see fit to waste money and time that would be far better spent on true antdoping activities just to show they “rule the roost” ? Full marks to BOA for actually trying to do something rather than just talking about it . Lets see if the selectors have the courage NOT to select Millar .

  • larry

    its not murder its pressure to win so they are weak and cheat get caught serve ban and surely they should be allowed to continue once time is served – ah but i forgot its the new cyclists run by the taliban who post on here – god i hope i dont get you on the jury if i ever fall foul of the law

  • Peter Goodall

    I’m with Ray on this one.In my opinion cheats should not be racing full stop,never mind deciding wheather
    they can or can not compete in the olympics.Get caught cheating and get banned for life.

  • Sir Jeremy Beedlejuice III

    This ban makes no difference either way, it’s no deterrent. Until there’s a strong chance of being caught people are going to take the risk. Shame cycling is the fall guy when it comes to this, without anything actually being sorted.

  • ray ball

    just dont pick them

  • Mike

    Well done CAS, a great step forward in the fight against doping in sport.

    What a bunch of jobsworth blazer wearing posers.

    The answer for BOA is to “advise” the relevant sporting bodies not to select athletes who have doped.

  • Ken Evans

    “…if they qualify and are selected by the relevant sporting body.”

    Britain has other riders apart from Millar,
    that could also do a very good job.

  • Leo Lerner

    NB, Bylaw, note lack of e