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BOA doping policy found to be "non-compliant"

British Olympic Association Chief Executive Clegg speaks at a news conference about the International Olympic Committee's inspection of Lond
British Olympic Association Chief Executive Clegg speaks at a news conference about the International Olympic Committee's inspection of Lond

Nov 20 (Reuters) - The British Olympic Association (BOA) has vowed to defend its hardline approach on doping despite facing the prospect of sanctions after being found to be non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA presented its compliance report to its Foundation Board in Montreal on Sunday.

As expected, the board ruled that the BOA was non-compliant with WADA's rules because they have refused to lift their controversial lifetime ban on athletes found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The BOA, preparing for a home Olympics in London next year, issued a statement on Sunday saying they welcomed WADA's decision but would defend their controversial policy.

"The British Olympic Association (BOA) welcomes today's outcome from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which will bring clarity and closure to the dispute with WADA," the statement said.

"We look forward to receiving the formal findings from WADA setting out how they have determined the BOA's Selection Policy is non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

"On behalf of the overwhelming majority of British athletes we will vigorously defend any challenge to the selection policy which bans drug cheats from representing Team GB and we will publish the process we intend to follow in the near future."

WADA's report will now be passed on to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who will decide what action to take against National Olympic Committees that are deemed non-compliant.

The Olympic Charter states that a NOC must be compliant to the World Anti-Doping Code to participate in an Olympic Games.

Last month the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that an IOC rule similar to the BOA's, that restricted athletes banned for six months or more from competing in the next Olympics, amounted to a second sanction and not in compliance with the Anti-Doping Code.

The IOC accepted the CAS ruling and nullified its law. WADA informed the BOA that in light of the CAS decision it should review its rules but the BOA has refused.

(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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