The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Vice President Sebastian Coe has denied approval for calls to have shorter bans on athletes who are caught using performance-enhancing drugs.
A representative from the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) commission has suggested that there should be a line drawn among athletes who fail on drug tests. Those who fail the tests due to recreational drugs or valid medications such as asthma inhalers should not be put on the same category as those who use drugs to boost performance.
But Coe, who plans to run for the IAAF presidency, believes that this is not necessary. He is now the current chairman for the London Olympics organizing committee and he even sees the need to double the sanctions of athletes caught using drugs.
In a report from The Independent, Coe says, “Let’s get real here. What is the message we are putting out to young people? It’s very clear. There is no ambiguity. You want to be a part of this project then don’t take drugs. You can’t mix messages.” He adds that if only he had a say in the track and field division, he’d increase the ban to four years.
There are other officers from the UKAD that does not see eye to eye with Coe. Chairman of the Science and Medicine committee for UKAD believes that the IAAF rules should be flexible, and that “morality and ethics” should not be the only considerations in including some medications in the list of prohibited substances.
Steve Cram also gave a piece of his mind to Coe, differentiating recreational drugs, saying they are not the type of drugs that enhance an athlete’s performance. This is why the two-year ban should be lifted or minimized for those who use them.