Deliberate drug cheats in sport now face a minimum four-year ban under the new code by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which came into effect from January 1.
Changes to the World Anti-Doping Code- now organised into a unified anti-doping rules, have provided for a period of four-year “ineligibility” for doping.
However, the periods of suspension for missed tests have been reduced and possible reduced bans for helping investigators.
Intentional drug cheats will now be banned for a period of four years, and athletes guilty of “inadvertent doping” will receive a maximum two-year ban- but can get reduction if the athlete can prove “no significant fault” of that they were not “intending to cheat.”
Sanctions for missing three tests within a 12-month period have been increased from 18 months to two years.
The 2015 revised code, which was agreed by WADA in November after over 18 months of research, had more incentive for anyone providing “substantial assistance” in covering doping, according to WADA.
WADA said: “Admitting a violation can be rewarded with a reduced ban with WADA having a final say. In exceptional cases, WADA has the power to eliminate a ban entirely and offer complete confidentiality for substantial assistance.”