Australia to crack down on athletes' entourages

Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:39am BST

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(Reuters) - The Australian Olympic Committee will make the country's top athletes sign pledges that they have never worked with coaches or support staff that have engaged in doping-related activity.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will introduce new measures from 2015 that will extend punishments for drugs violations to athletes' entourages.

The AOC said it was moving early to bring national sports federations up to code, and would work with Australia's peak anti-doping agency to send letters to 1,200 "shadow" athletes for the 2016 Rio Games.

Athletes would need to sign a consent form declaring they had never worked with any support staff who had been found to have been involved in doping.

"Article 2.10 is simple," Coates said in a statement on Monday, referring to the new WADA clause on entourages.

"It says athletes are forbidden from associating with these people in any professional or sports-related way. They are now off limits, out of the picture totally."

Australian sport has been rocked by the involvement of support staff in doping, with a prominent sports scientist implicated in drug charges handed to dozens of top-flight rugby league players and Australian Rules footballers in recent months.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)

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