Former doping cheats will be eligible to compete for the host Olympic nation at London 2012 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban on offenders out of synch with a WADA Code that allows offenders the second chance that the victims opt cheating are not afforded.
CAS is due to announce its decision formally announce its decision this afternoon after its Lausanne-based panel ruled that the BOA bylaw that prevents British athletes from competing at the Olympic Games if convicted of any serious doping offence runs counter to the WADA Code - and therefore must be scrapped.
WADA, knowing that its move would let a whole wave of cheats back into the Olympic arena, challenged the ban at a hearing in London last month on the grounds that it would rather see nations be compliant with a code in need of improvements than actually keep drugs cheats out of sport.
The WADA move followed a CAS decision last October that the International Olympic Committee's Rule 45, which cut convicted doping cheats out of all future Games action, was illegal. The challenge arose after the United States Olympic Committee brought a case on behalf of 400m track Olympic Former doping cheats will be eligible to compete for the host Olympic nation at London 2012 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban on offenders out of synch with a WADA Code that allows offenders the second chance that the victims opt cheating are not afforded
The latest decision paves the way for Dwain Chambers, suspended in 2003 for two years in 2003 after being caught high on a cocktail of anabolic steroids, to race at a home Olympic Games. In polls taken on the issue, many British athletes selected or heading for selection for London 2012 have let it be known that they would not welcome the likes of Chambers in their midst.
"The British Olympic Association can confirm that today, it has received from the Court of Arbitration for Sport the written decision in the arbitration between the BOA and the World Anti-Doping Association," the BOA said in a statement. "As the decision is to be announced first by CAS, and out of respect for CAS and the Arbitration Panel, the BOA will be offering no comment today."
The BOA is expected to remove its bylaw from today but has also called on a major overhaul of the WADA Code on several grounds, including the dilemma of a body with anti-doping as its core purpose and name acting in ways that allows cheats back in to compete all over again against the very people they denied when cheating the first time round. Beyond the Olympic arena that happens frequently in sport, swimming included, the cheat, often without providing details of how it all happened, why and who assisted in the process of cheating, gets a second chance.
As the BOA presses for change in the WADA Code, the question is whether sport belongs to those areas of life where second chances are appropriate or whether those who cheat in sport belong to the category of professions )teachers, doctors and others) where serious misconduct rules them out of that realm for life.