December 15 - Andy Parkinson (pictured), chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), has stated that he is happy to see the dispute between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) settled in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Earlier this week, the BOA filed a formal appeal with CAS to challenge the decision last month by WADA that declared its controversial anti-doping bylaw non-compliant.
The bylaw, introduced in 1992, imposes a lifetime Olympic ban on any British athlete who has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, but despite being a vocal critic of the BOA's stance, Parkinson said he is content to see the row settled in CAS.
"I have nothing to say at this time other than that we agree with the BOA that the dispute with WADA should be settled in CAS," said Parkinson, here at the UKAD headquarters in central London.
Parkinson however, made it clear that he is supportive of a unified set of rules for convicted drug cheats, with the BOA currently the only National Olympic Committee with a lifetime ban bylaw in place.
"I do think that some flexibility is appropriate but as a whole, this is a global issue so having a unified code and adhering to a set of rules that is agreed on at an international level is a good thing moving forward," he said.
In the past, the UKAD chief executive has made it very clear that the BOA's lifetime ban on drugs cheats is impeding his organisation's battle to stamp out the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport.
In an exclusive blog for insidethegames last year, Parkinson said that athletes would be more willing to cooperate with authorities if there was an incentive for them to be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
"If we remove all incentives for athletes to share their stories and information with us, then we will continue to struggle to catch those who are supplying performance enhancing substances and often operate on the edges of sport with relative impunity," he wrote.
"It is clear that this is a hard message to get across and to agree on, largely because these eligibility rules are easy to defend, but if we cannot be seen to be working with all athletes, then what hope do we have in really getting to the heart of the doping problem and to those that traffic and supply?"
Such a viewpoint was first stated by former WADA President Dick Pound (pictured), who said back in 2008 that he did not believe that the BOA rule would survive if it was challenged legally.
A decision on the dispute between the BOA and WADA is expected in CAS before the end of April 2012 and should CAS rule against the BOA, the door would be open for convicted drugs cheats like Dwain Chambers and David Miller to represent Team GB at London 2012.
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