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September 21, 2017

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BOA 'welcomes' ruling which may let dopers compete again

LONDON -- The British Olympic Association (BOA) insisted Sunday it welcomed a ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that effectively declared its lifetime Games ban for athletes found guilty of taking drugs invalid.

WADA's ruling at a board meeting in Montreal could pave the way for the likes of Dwain Chambers to compete at next year's London Olympics.

BOA officials have repeatedly insisted the former European 100 meters champion, who served a two-year ban for a doping offence, will not be considered for selection in any British Olympic team.

WADA's decision, in theory at least, puts London's hosting of the 2012 Games at risk as associations declared non-compliant are not supposed to stage major events, including most notably the Olympics, under the anti-doping authority's regulations.

However, WADA president John Fahey said he would not speculate on whether London might lose out as a result of the standoff.

It seems unlikely WADA will push for the UK capital to be stripped of the Games, not least because of the ensuing complications for any other city forced to host an Olympics at such short notice.

The BOA was declared "non-compliant" with WADA's global code in a ruling that came after an unusually public row between the two organizations.

At the centre of the dispute is a BOA bylaw, enacted in 1992, that bans British athletes for life from the Olympics if they are found guilty of doping.

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