Lausanne - Sport's highest court overturned Britain's lifetime Olympic ban for doping offenders on Monday, clearing the way for sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar to try to qualify for the London Games.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the British Olympic Association's bylaw was invalid because it fails to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
A three-man CAS panel said a lifetime ban from the Olympics amounts to a second sanction after an initial doping ban. The BOA had argued that it was an eligibility issue rather than a sanction.
The CAS decision was in line with its ruling in October, when it threw out the International Olympic Committee rule that would have barred athletes who had received drug bans of more than six months from competing in the next Olympic Games.
Monday's ruling means that Chambers and Millar are now eligible to compete for Britain at the July 27-August 12 London Olympics.
Chambers, who won a bronze medal in the 60m at the world indoor championships in March, served a two-year ban after testing positive for the steroid THG in 2003. Millar was suspended in 2004 for two years after testing positive for the blood-boosting agent EPO.
CAS said its rulings underlined the international sports movement's commitment to harmonised anti-doping rules and policies laid out in the WADA code.
"All signatories have agreed to comply ... without any substantial deviation in any direction," CAS said.
The panel said the IOC and BOA are still free to try to persuade other bodies that an extra sanction involving a ban from the Olympics "may be a proportionate, appropriate sanction" that could be part of a revised WADA code in the future.
"At the moment the system in place does not permit what the BOA has done," CAS said.