UK Athletics wants all world records to be reset due to the sport’s doping crisis and has announced it will seek to bring in a lifetime ban for any athlete guilty of a serious drugs violation.
The governing body for British athletics has published ‘A Manifesto for Clean Athletics’, which calls for hard-hitting measures to be brought in to clean up the sport.
It comes after the doping scandal that has seen Russia banned from international athletics, with allegations that former officials from the sport’s world governing body the IAAF also took money to cover up positive tests from Turkish and Moroccan athletes. Kenya, one of the most high-profile countries in distance running, is also at the centre of doping-related allegations.
UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said: "The integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015. Clean athletes and sports fans the world over have been let down. Trust in the sport is at its lowest point for decades.
“Greater transparency, tougher sanctions, longer bans — and even resetting the clock on world records for a new era — we should be open to do whatever it takes to restore credibility in the sport.”
Dick Pound, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) independent commission, is to announce the second part of the findings of his investigation into the IAAF and Russia on Thursday at a news conference in Munich.
UK Athletics has made 14 proposals including the IAAF bringing in a new set of world records based on performances in the new ‘Clean Athletics’ era.
It is also seeking “to enforce a lifetime ban against representing Great Britain for any athlete guilty of a serious anti-doping violation” and doubling the length of bans worldwide for serious offences from four years to eight years.
Other proposals include:
- Sponsors not supporting athletes guilty of serious doping offences.
- WADA setting up a public global register of all drugs tests so that the times and places of tests undertaken by all athletes are open to scrutiny.
- All lottery-funded athletes in Britain should agree to have their tests available on a public register maintained by UK Anti-Doping.
- WADA should tighten up the process around the granting of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to athletes.
- All athletes competing in world championships should have a valid blood/biological passport.
Warner added: “UKA believes the time has come for radical reform if we are to help restore trust in the sport. Athletics needs to act very differently if we are to move on from the crisis facing the sport.
“We are publishing today a ‘Manifesto for Clean Athletics’. We cannot will the ends — a clean sport that people can trust — if we are not prepared to be bold and put in place the means to get there.”
Warner said UK Athletics has also announced the recommendations of its review into the Oregon Project run by Mo Farah's coach Alberto Salazar which was commissioned following allegations by the BBC's Panorama programme that the coach had violated anti-doping rules.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had asked UKA not to publish its findings while it continue its investigations into Salazar but Warner said: “We are also publishing the recommendations from our review into Oregon last summer. We had said we would wait until the USADA report before publishing but the need for transparency overrides our previously stated position.”
UK Athletics is the only one among the Diamond League organisers to have a policy of not inviting athletes who have previously been found guilty of a serious anti-doping violation.
Following the independent review of its connections with the Oregon Project, UK Athletics has announced it will retain the Performance Oversight Committee (POC) as an independent watchdog of its practices.
Recommendations also include UK Athletics undertaking a process of due diligence whenever an athlete with British funding wishes to move to a foreign coach, or when UK Athletics wants to have a working relationship with a coach or consultant.
Athletes in receipt of support from UK Athletics should also be required to sign an agreement which outlines “moral and ethical” obligations.