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Coates wants athletes to sign a 'stat dec' declaring no doping

2 November 2012

Members of the Australian Olympic Team will be asked to sign a statutory declaration saying they have no doping history under a new proposal put forward by the President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), John Coates.

In a zero tolerance approach Coates said, “if they don’t sign, they don’t go to the Games, they won’t be selected. What I don’t want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has.”

Coates will put his proposal to the AOC Executive Board at a meeting in Melbourne later this month. If adopted it would affect athletes in contention for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

The move follows the upheaval in cycling surrounding Lance Armstrong and the Australian cycling officials Matt White and Stephen Hodge who subsequently admitted to doping.

Athletes, coaches and officials would all be required to sign the document.

Team Sky in the United Kingdom now requires its Team members and staff to sign a statutory declaration that they have no doping history.

“In my opinion we simply cannot allow the name of the AOC to be damaged, like that of the International Cycling Union, for not having taken every reasonable step possible to ensure that no person in authority on our Olympic Team has a doping history,” Coates said.

The statutory declaration would form part of the Team Agreement athletes, coaches and officials must sign before they are selected by the AOC.

Coates recently renewed his call for the Federal Government to strengthen the powers of ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) to investigate doping by “compelling witnesses to attend and give evidence and to produce documents relevant to such investigations.”

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