U.S.A. Track and Field proposed a new anti-doping plan that would substantially increase punishments and fines for athletes who use banned drugs, including lifetime bans for first steroid offenses.
The so-called "zero-tolerance" plan was announced Wednesday by USA-TF president Bill Roe and chief executive officer Craig Masback. The plan focuses on increasing efforts to catch and punish cheaters, expanding educational efforts and re-enforcing the message that cheating is wrong and those who cheat will be caught.
The plan was unveiled amid a potential scandal involving athletes using a previously undetectable steroid, and just days after the U.S. Olympic Committee gave USA-TF one month to deal with its doping and athlete conduct issues or face possibly being decertified. The USA-TF hopes to adopt the policy at its next scheduled meeting in December. Masback said the tougher new rules are paired with an admission that the organization has not done everything it could have done in the past." USA-TF is also asking the leaders of major U.S. sports to join in the growing battle against drugs and has called for an emergency summit in Washington dealing with drugs in sports.