Sports: World anti-doping body approves new code

Sports: World anti-doping body approves new code
File photo of blood samples at the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analysis in Epalinges near Lausanne on July 15, 2008.

JOHANNESBURG - Global anti-doping body WADA passed far-reaching new rules against the use of banned performance-enhancers Friday that doubles punishment for cheats as the sporting world still reels from cyclist Lance Armstrong's scandal.

"The board... unanimously agreed to approve and to endorse the code," said outgoing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey at a meeting in Johannesburg.

World sports leaders approved rules that ban first-time intentional dopers from competitive sport for up to four years - automatic Olympics disqualification - though some say the measures aren't tough enough.

The revised World Anti-Doping Code follows two years of reevaluation, a period during which the discovery of fallen Tour de France champion Armstrong's extensive doping highlighted the tough battle for clean competition.

Athletes and sports bodies had called for stricter punishment for culprits, though doping controls struggle to catch them.

Less than one per cent of checks give an abnormal result, though tests have jumped from 150,000 a year to 250,000 since WADA was created in 1999.

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