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Track and Field Body Considers Reinstating 4-Year Doping Ban Policy - 2003-11-04

The International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of track and field, says it might reinstate a mandatory four-year ban for doping in the wake of a recent designer steroid scandal.

IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai said Tuesday that the association might double the current two-year ban to four years for athletes testing positive for steroids or other banned drugs.

The track governing body reduced its penalty in 1997 from four years to two so there would be uniform punishment for cheating. However, the IAAF has had to reconsider that decision since the discovery of the designer steroid THG.

Four U.S. athletes, including middle distance runner Regina Jacobs and shot putter Kevin Toth, have tested positive for the drug. British sprinter Dwain Chambers also tested positive for THG.

Meanwhile, two leading German labs said that they are re-testing at least 500 drug test samples for THG. Australian anti-doping agencies are re-testing samples collected since October 16, looking for the drug as well.