Athletes found guilty of doping will be handed a four-year ban from 2015, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has announced.
In 1997, the IAAF reduced the duration of ban for athletes guilty of dope offenses from four to two years to bring it in line with other international sport bodies.
After a number of high profile cases, the world athletics governing body has opted to revert to four.
“The IAAF has an ethical obligation to the overwhelming majority of athletes and officials who believe in clean sport,” the body said in a statement.
Asafa Powell and Sheronne Simpsons headlined five of Jamaica’s athletes that tested positive for banned substances in a test carried out at a Jamaica Invitational on May 4.
America’s Tyson Gay was notified by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that his ‘A’ sample from an out-of-competition test in May, likewise tested positive (as well as his ‘B’ sample).
On the request of the IAAF Council, the 49th IAAF Congress presently holding in Russia, mandated its council with the constitutional power to implement the new World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code which will come into force on 1 January 2015.
“The new WADA Code, which will come into force on 1 January 2015, will reflect our firm commitment to have tougher penalties and IAAF will return to 4 year sanctions for serious offences,” its statement added.