<
>

IAAF says call for stiffer penalties likely to be defeated by WADA

OSAKA, Japan -- The world athletics federation said Monday
its call for stiffer penalties for serious doping infractions was
likely to be defeated when the World Anti-Doping Agency reviews its
rules in November.

Instead of a minimum two-year suspension, the International
Association of Athletics Federations wants to increase that to four
years for major infractions as a more potent deterrent since
athletics and many other leading sports continue to be hit by
doping scandals.

The issue is set to be one of the key points at WADA's Nov.
15-17 conference in Madrid, Spain.

IAAF secretary general Pierre Weiss said WADA would stick with
the two-year rule, and the athletics federation had no plans to
disregard the World Anti-Doping Code and impose its own rules on
doping penalties.

"We will fail. We are not stupid. But we will respect the
majority in Madrid," Weiss said after a meeting of the IAAF
council, which called for the proposal of tougher penalties.

IAAF council member and London 2012 organizer Sebastian Coe did
not want to concede yet.

"We still need to shove that over the line," Coe said. "It is
not that easy."

Sports like cycling and soccer were already loath to accept a
two-year benchmark, which was instituted in 2004. Doubling that is
expected to meet with opposition, including arguments that such
penalties will not stand up in civil courts.

Coe also said that opposing the two-year rule after a negative
decision in Madrid would not be wise.

"Politically and practically it tells me it is not the most
profitable way to go," Coe said. "But what we do need here is a
strong declaration."

The IAAF is holding its meetings ahead of the Aug. 25-Sept. 2
track and field world championships.