21 Nov 2014

Val Adams says ban drug cheats for life

12:33 pm on 21 November 2014

New Zealand's World and Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams says that athletes who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs should be banned for life, even if it is their first offence.

Adams says once a cheater always a cheater. "You should be banned for life... kick them all out, none of this back after two years stuff."

Val Adams wins in Belgium 2014.

Val Adams wins in Belgium 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A serious first doping violation leads to a two-year ban, but the punishment will increase to four years in 2015.

However, recent research on mice suggests that athletes continue to benefit from having taken steroids long after their suspensions have been served.

The 30-year-old was speaking to the IAAF in Monaco as one of the three nominees for the International Association of Athletics Federations women's athlete of the year award.

United States sprinter Justin Gatlin, who failed drugs tests in 2001 and 2006 but has returned to run the fastest 100 and 200 metres times of 2014 so far, was included on a 10-name long-list for the men's award.

His inclusion prompted another of the long-listed athletes - German discus thrower Robert Harting - to remove himself from consideration for the award.

Adams says it was quite a massive stance Harting took, but she supports him and it was pretty strong of him to do that.

Adams was only awarded gold at London 2012 after Belarussian rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk was stripped of the title for taking the steroid metenolene.

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Adams was denied the three extra throws given to the top eight in the field when she finished ninth, only to be retrospectively moved up a place after winner Irina Korzhanenko was found to have cheated.

After Harting's protest, Gatlin failed to make the IAAF's shortlist for Friday's award.

The honour will go to either Qatari high-jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim, Kenyan marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto or French pole vault world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie.

Adams is up against Ethiopia's middle and long-distance queen Genzebe Dibaba and Dutch heptathlete Dafne Schippers for the female athlete of the year award.

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