The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) announced on Thursday (29 October) that sanctions on dopers and their entourages will be strengthened. The organisation is holding a regular anti-doping convention in Paris and recently called on governments to prosecute traffickers and distributors of drugs used to enhance performance in sports. Wada director general David Howman said sanctions against athletes had recently been tightened.
"The maximum sanction now for a first offence is four years ban from sport, and there are the rules that relate to the athlete's entourage, which is now looking at trying to make sure that those who persuade the athletes to cheat are also sanctioned," he added.
"We've had a feeling for quite a number of years that those people are the important people for the world to deal with."
Governments have a key role in the application of sanctions for those who encourage athletes to use doping. Howman said: "They should be sanctioned in very similar fashion. The sports do not have the power to sanction those people in the same way that governments do. That will be very helpful to us and also to the athletes."
Other important tools in the fight against doping include police investigation and the gathering of evidence that can build a case against athletes or members of their entourage, added Howman.