(ATR) The World Olympians Association is speaking out against competition bans affecting clean athletes.
WOA president Joel Bouzou (ATR)
In this edition of ATRadio, WOA president Joel Bouzou comments on a statement released by the organization on Monday. "We believe banning clean athletes is unjust and that sport and its many fans will ultimately pay the price as they will miss the opportunity to see their clean heroes compete at the highest level," Bouzou said in the statement.
"Of course sanctions should be taken against cheaters whether they are athletes, officials or medical doctors. But the individual rights of clean athletes should also be respected as well as their right to train and to compete in the sport that they love."
Speaking with Around the Rings
, Bouzou said the WOA statement is directed at "all clean athletes" across the globe. Now more than ever, Bouzou said, the world needs to protect clean athletes.
A report delivered by the World Anti Doping Agency Independent Commission last month exposed systemic doping cover-ups across Russian athletics.
In a statement released Dec. 11, the International Association of Athletics Federations established reinstatement conditions the All-Russian Athletics Federation must satisfy in order to demonstrate adequate reform.
As part of the effort to initiate permanent change, the IAAF is requiring that ARAF clean house, severing ties with any staff, officers or directors implicated in the past doping practices. The ARAF must also introduce a comprehensive code of ethics and term limits for its officials.
It is feasible that ARAF could enact these changes in the six months remaining until next summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. However, any Russian track and field athlete wishing to compete at the Games after reinstatement must submit to extensive doping tests.
Bouzou told ATR
that aspiring Olympians and
young athletes need role models right now. "Clean athletes drive kids to sport," he added.
Click the SoundCloud link below for more from my interview with Joel Bouzou.
Written and produced by Nicole Bennett
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