By Gary Anderson

AOC President John Coates has warned athletes about associating with individuals who have committed anti-doping violations ©Getty ImagesAustralian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates has fired a warning to all athletes aiming for a spot at Rio 2016 that any found to be associating with individuals who have been charged with anti-doping violations will not be heading to Brazil.

The threat comes as Coates and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority have sent out letters to all National Sporting Federations (NFs) which contains a "Prohibited Association" clause which all athletes are obliged to sign up to.

The NFs will identify up to 1,200 potential athletes for the 2016 Olympics - Shadow Team for Rio - who will be asked to sign up to the clause preventing them from associating with coaches, trainers, sports scientists and other support personnel with drugs violations, or else face the prospect of being overlooked for Australian team selection.

Last week, Coates advised NFs of the need to comply with the World Anti-Doping (WADA) Code by the start of next year, otherwise they risk losing their membership status.

"We totally support the new code and athletes who want to compete in the Australian Olympic team in Rio need to understand the changes and comply now," said Coates, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee.

"For a long time now the Olympic Movement has expressed grave concerns about the athlete's entourage, those people who surround the athletes and actively promote and assist in doping.

"They are a scourge on sport.

"Previously they have been outside the jurisdiction of anti-doping authorities, not anymore."

Australian athletes hoping to compete at Rio 2016 will have to sign a clause promising to stay away from support personnel charged with anti-doping violations ©Getty ImagesAustralian athletes hoping to compete at Rio 2016 will have to sign a clause promising to stay away from support personnel charged with anti-doping violations ©Getty Images

The AOC consent to Shadow Team Membership form reads:

"I have not at any time engaged in Prohibited Association as prescribed under Article 2.10 of the World Anti-Doping Authority Code (in effect from January 1 2015) , meaning association in a professional or sport-related capacity with any Athlete Support Personnel who:

(a) is serving a period of Ineligibility;

(b) has been convicted or found in a criminal, disciplinary or professional proceeding to have engaged in conduct which would have constituted a violation of anti-doping rules;

(c) is serving as a front or intermediary for an individual described in (a) or (b) above."

Coates said: "Article 2.10 is simple.

"It says athletes are forbidden from associating with these people in any professional or sports-related way.

"They are now off limits, out of the picture totally."

As well as stricter rules for support personnel, the new WADA Code, due to be effective from January 1, increases the penalty for athletes caught doping from two to four years.

The move by Coates comes in the wake of an investigation led by the Australian Crime Commission of support personnel in the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL).

The investigation found widespread use of banned substances in both sports with players at NRL side Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks allegedly given prohibited substances suitable "for equine use only", while up to 14 current and former players at NRL outfit Essendon were implicated in a drugs scandal.

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