AMSTERDAM - The president of the International Olympic Committee expressed support yesterday for plans of the World Anti-Doping Agency to raise from two to four years the punishment for serious violations of its rules.
At a press conference in Amsterdam, Belgium's Jacques Rogge confirmed that the proposal, which would enter into force in 2015, "satisfies" the IOC in cases it called "heavy doping."
The draft text is "completely in line with the Osaka Rule," whose purpose "was to stop the athletes to participate in the next games if their penalty was higher than six months." the IOC chief said.
The IOC's Osaka Rule was annulled last year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which disagreed with the double punishment of having an athlete who had already fulfilled a sanction also be banned from participating in the Olympics.
If the suspension is expanded from two years to four for serious doping cases, the sanction will cover one complete Olympic cycle and those punished under it will not be able to participate in the next Games.
Regarding the case of US cyclist Lance Armstrong, Rogge said that "there is still legal work to be done".