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Athletes can compete if they finish their punishment: WADA President

WADA president has cleared that the athletes who were punished for doping will be allowed to participate in next year's Olympics if they complete their punishment by then.

Athletes can compete if they finish their punishment: WADA President

The Bridge Desk

Published: 28 March 2020 6:17 AM GMT

The Olympics which were scheduled from July this year have been postponed to next year due to coronavirus pandemic.

While the delay is a set back for majority of players who were gearing up for the games, for some players the delay may prove as a blessing. The postponement may now give some athletes, those who were other they are eligible to participate in this summer games, a second chance.

These are the players who have been involved in doping scandals and were handed severe bans. For instance Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav. The wrestler was punished with a four-year ban for taking prohibited substances. The ban came into effect in 2016 and will get over in 2020. So with Olympics now due for 2021, Yadav has a chance to feature in the Tokyo games.

World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka has said that the athletes who are serving doping bans can participate in the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

"A ban is about the length of time, it is not dedicated to concrete sports events and if they happen or not." Banka has said.

"When you finish your punishment, you can compete. We cannot extend the punishment, from a legal point of view. I agree it could be a concern for athletes and we should do everything we can to increase the controls." Banka explained.

Clearance from WADA means that Yadav can very well feature in the Tokyo games.

But WADA maintains that it is going to keep a tight vigil on doping cases and eliminate the dope tainted athletes.

"This is not space for cheats and I can say to the athletes that we will do everything we can to protect clean athletes during this time. Inevitably testing programmes in some countries will be suspended and cancelled or limited in others, but we will do our best to maintain the integrity of the anti-doping system. If some cheats are thinking this is space for them, I can ensure we will do everything to catch them and eliminate them from the sports environment." Banka concluded.

Also Read: Postponed Olympics gives tainted wrestler Nar Singh a second chance

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