April 30 - British Olympic Association (BOA) chairman Colin Moynihan has claimed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has secured a "hollow victory" after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned his organisation's lifetime Olympic ban on drug cheats.
The CAS formally announced this afternoon that the BOA bylaw, which stops athletes convicted of serious drugs offences representing Great Britain at the Olympics, is against WADA rules and must be scrapped.
It means that convicted drugs cheats like sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar are eligible to be selected to represent Team GB at London 2012.
But in a press conference here at the BOA headquarters in central London, Moynihan attacked WADA for having a "flawed" stance towards drug cheats and said that while his organisation respects the decision of CAS, it rermains saddened with the ruling.
"The BOA is clearly very disappointed in the outcome," Moynihan declared.
"No doubt for athletes, coaches, administrators and others in international sport who want to see greater progress made in the fight against doping, this will be seen as a hollow victory for WADA.
"We live in difficult days when WADA spends time and money reducing those countries, such as Canada, New Zealand and ourselves, which have taken a determined stance against drug cheats in sport, to [impose] a two year ban which, as Sir Steve Redgrave said, is tantamount to almost saying it is acceptable.
"It is also wrong in our view that all 204 National Olympic Committees around the world now have to hand over their selection policy towards drug cheats and to WADA or face court action."
Moynihan also promised that the BOA will now spearhead a campaign against WADA, pushing relentlessly for tougher sanctions on drug cheats.
"Today, we must now move the discussion forward, and we will engage and lead in a global campaign to seek fundamental and far-reaching reform to WADA," said Moynihan.
"We have already submitted a set of recommendations to WADA as part of the ongoing World Anti-Doping Code Review process.
"We will be actively involved in that process, we will be vocal in that process, principally calling for tougher, more realistic sanctions for serious first-time doping offenders: a minimum of four years, including one Games.
"We will be seeking testing measures that are more proactive, more reliable, and treat athletes with greater fairness and consistency – for example, biological passports.
"We will be calling for the autonomy of National Olympic Committees to be respected, particularly in determining their selection policies for the Olympic team.
"We will be looking to an approach that doesn't bind all NOCs to what is effectively the lowest common denominator of sanctions.
"If some NOCs wish to take a position that is tougher than that global benchmark they should be permitted to do so, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should be free to reintroduce its Rule 45 'Osaka Rule' [banning convicted drugs cheats from future Games] if it so wishes.
"We will be calling on WADA to operate in a manner that is decidedly more efficient and effective, and more in touch with the athletes from all 204 National Olympic Committees."
Moynihan also revealed that the entire cost of CAS process was under £100,000 ($162,000/€123,000).
"WADA argued very strongly before CAS that, in the event that the British Olympic Association lost, we should pay not just our own costs but WADA's costs as well," he said.
"I'm very pleased to read in the findings that we have won our argument on that point – and our argument was that each party should bear its own costs relative to the findings.
"In terms of the CAS process itself, we will be covering those costs and we are very comfortable with the CAS decision on that particular point.
"The net result of all of that is that we anticipate the full cost to the British Olympic Association to be less than the budgeted figure of £100,000.
"It is good news for the athletes because it means we can spend additional money on them; that £100,000 covers the cost of the arbitration and our lawyer's fees.
"So we were within budget on the cost of this."
Despite the attack levelled at WADA, Moynihan promised that athletes such as Chambers and Millar will not be made outcasts if selected for Team GB.
"If ultimately they are nominated, by their National Governing Bodies, so long as they meet the eligibility criteria they will be selected to Team GB.
"If they become members of Team GB they will be treated just as every other athlete in the delegation.
"There will be no two-tier team."
UK Athletics, which will be responsible for selecting Chambers, has echoed Moynihan's stance.
"UK Athletics has always supported the BOA bylaw but welcomes the clarity the CAS decision brings to this issue," it said in a statement.
"Athletes affected by the ruling are now eligible for the team, in both individual and relay events, and will be subject to the same selection criteria and process as every other British athlete."
British Cycling (BC), charged with nominating Millar to Team GB, followed suit.
"Our team for the Games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we'll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals," said a BC spokesperson.
"Ahead of that we won't be speculating on who may or may not be selected."
By Tom Degun at the BOA Headquarters in London