A reintroduction of the controversial Osaka Rule, banning athletes convicted of serious doping offences from competing at the next Olympic Games, has been proposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be part of the World Anti-Doping Code.
IOC Athletes' Commission vice-chair Tony Estanguet called for athletes who have served suspensions longer than six months to be excluded from the next edition of the Olympics.
"The IOC would like to propose a new amendment to the Code regarding the eligibility of athletes to compete at the Olympic Games," the Frenchman, a three-time Olympic champion in canoe slalom, said at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board meeting here.
"If there are athletes who have served a suspension of more than six months, they should not participate in any capacity in the next edition of the Games."
The Osaka Rule - previously Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter - was originally drafted to allow the IOC to prevent athletes who had received a doping sanction of more than six months from representing their country at the Games.
It was introduced by the IOC in 2007 during the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Osaka - hence the name.
It was, however, successfully challenged by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in 2011 on behalf of Beijing 2008 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The USOC claimed the rule was unfair because it was effectively punishing an athlete twice for the same offence and CAS agreed.
That, in turn, led to WADA successfully overturning the British Olympic Association's (BOA) bylaw, initiated when now WADA President Sir Craig Reedie was chair in 1992, which banned any athlete convicted of a serious doping offence from representing Team GB at the Games.
The ruling became part of the World Anti-Doping Code in 2012 only to be removed the same year due to legal fears.
Following the publication of the McLaren Report in July, alleging the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme in Russia, the IOC Executive Board opted to introduce a similar measure when outlining eligibility criteria for the country’s athletes at Rio 2016.
It banned Russian athletes who had previously served a drugs suspension from taking part at Rio 2016 - though several competitors won their appeals to the CAS, including controversial swimmer Yuliya Efimova.
Further consultation is likely to take place following Estanguet’s proposal, made on behalf of the IOC, with Sir Craig likely to be in favour.
It is likely set to pose major legal complications for WADA, however.
Earlier in the meeting, the Foundation Board endorsed a three-tier punishment system for non-compliance, which would give WADA sanctioning power for the first time.
Being banned from hosting or participating in Olympic Games and World Championships was among the punishments for the third level of breaches of the Code, the most severe.
Estanguet, co-chairman of Paris 2024, was among the representatives of the Olympic Movement to stress the need to "protect clean athletes", though the IOC opposition to WADA being granted more power was not as fierce as was perhaps anticipated.
IOC President Thomas Bach has said on several occasions that he does not support "the prosecutor also being the judge".
The plans were given complete support by WADA Athletes’ Committee chair Beckie Scott, as well as Government officials such as British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.
The first level deals with low level administrative problems relating to procedural issues threatening compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.
A second medium level will consist of more serious problems with anti-doping procedures such as testing or educational schemes.
The most serious faults such as the Government interference and direct manipulation of the system seen alleged in Russia in recent years make up the third group.