Thu | Jan 19, 2017

Working with drug cheats forbidden in 2015 code

Published:Saturday | January 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Travis Tygart - File

NEW YORK, (AP):

Beginning this year, athletes in Olympic sports who work with trainers, coaches or agents who have been banned for doping will be in jeopardy of receiving a ban as well.

The most noteworthy of the new rules in the World Anti-Doping Agencys 2015 code is a prohibition from working with people who have been sanctioned themselves. Among those currently banned is Lance Armstrongs one-time trainer, Michele Ferrari. Since he was banned, Ferrari has been photographed meeting with members of other cycling teams.

Until the new code went into effect, there was no specific penalty for an athlete who dealt with banned coaches or trainers. Beginning this year, the US Anti-Doping Agency plans to give athletes a warning if theyre dealing with a banned person. After that, the athlete could be sanctioned.

"These important changes advance the policy to most effectively protect clean athletes rights, health and fair competition," United States Anti-Doping Agencys (USADA) chief executive officer Travis Tygart said. "Now, the challenge is to ensure all countries and sports are fully implementing this gold-standard policy to ensure the real winners win."

In Italy, where doping is a crime, sports officials are urging law enforcement to get more involved in preventing Ferrari from associating with riders.

ALLEGATIONS OF INFLUENCE

Last month, investigators sent a file to Italys Olympic committee detailing allegations of Ferraris continued influence on cyclists.

In 2006, Ferrari was cleared of criminal charges of distributing banned products to athletes. But he remains barred for life by the Italian Cycling Federation and was also banned for life by USADA in 2012.

Another key rules change taking effect this year increases the possible penalty for a first-time doping violation from two to four years. That change came after athletes pushed for the increased penalty for intentional cheaters.