Coe calls for four-year bans

2013-07-21 17:00
Sebastian Coe (Getty Images)

London - Former double Olympic champion Sebastian Coe wants the ban for athletes failing drugs tests to be increased from two to four years, he said on Sunday.

"We have to go back from two years to four years.

"The move down to two did a lot of damage to my sport," Coe, the chairman of last year's London Olympics, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"It is for the clean athletes.

"I don't care about the cheats we weed out.

"These people are trashing my sport."

Coe was speaking after sprinters Tyson Gay of the United States and Asafa Powell of Jamaica, both Olympic and world championship gold medallists, provided positive samples earlier this month. Both have withdrawn from next month's world championships in Moscow.

Coe, who won the Olympic 1 500 metres titles in Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984 and is now a vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), is concerned people are losing faith in the sport.

"It is depressing. Trust sits at the heart of this," he said.

"I don't think trust is gone entirely but it was a bad day for the sport.

"The big challenge here is to go on fighting, this is not a fight we can afford to lose.

"It is about trust.

"If fans can't trust the athletes and go there knowing what they are watching is questionable, then we will descend to American wrestling where most of the crowd know it is fake and, worryingly, don't care."

Coe believes that athletes are prepared to take risks by cheating as the two-year ban does not take enough time out of their career to be a deterrent.

"If I could bring lifetime bans in I would," he told the BBC.

"The legal inhibitor to be able to do that is profound.

"We are not going to be able to have life bans, they would be challenged and when we have done it we have lost.

"Four years does make people think, it is a big chunk of your career, but two years with appeals is often only 18 months.

"Too many athletes have been prepared to take the risk."

Read more on:    sebastian coe  |  athletics

Italy's Rosa joins Team Sky

2016-10-27 17:29

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.