Rio 2016: Tanni Grey-Thompson wants lifetime bans for drug cheats

Tanni Grey-Thompson
Tanni Grey-Thompson won gold medals at four different Paralympic Games
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Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
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Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson says athletes who fail drugs tests should have an automatic life ban from the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Governing bodies are making the rulings following the damning World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report into state-sponsored doping in Russia.

"My view is that anyone who serves a ban should not be allowed to compete at the Olympics or Paralympics," she said.

"Because there doesn't appear to be any deterrent," added Grey-Thompson.

Some international federations have banned Russians from competing altogether, some have issued a partial ban, while others have cleared all Russians to take part.

Graphic showing which Russian Olympic teams will be allowed to compete in Rio

All Russian competitors from equestrian, shooting, judo, tennis and archery have been given permission to compete as The International Olympic Committee (IOC) leave it up to individual sports' governing bodies to decide if Russian competitors can compete.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is opening a Rio office to fast-track doping cases at the Olympics but 11-time Paralympic champion Grey-Thompson wants athletes to have life bans.

"The coaches, the associated personnel around them, they need to be taken out as well because we don't seem to be tackling it," said Grey-Thompson, who competed at five games.

"This is a cataclysmic moment for Paralympic sport going forward. I am not sure how long we are going to keep going around in circles on this.

"I signed a letter last week saying the Russian Olympic team should be taken out of the Games, and I thought long and hard about it, because there will be clean Russian athletes on the team.

"But ultimately over the years so many clean athletes have been affected by those who are doping, the extent of it. It was state wide and state sanctioned and there has to be a strong message sent.

"But the reality is, the Russians will not be the only athletes at the Olympic or Paralympic Games who aren't clean, so I think WADA need to make sure they don't take their eye off the ball in terms of testing everyone else."

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