'Oly athletes should co-operate'

Australian Olympians must cooperate fully with their national anti-doping agency over the use of banned substances or face exclusion from the Games, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said on Saturday.

In the midst of a doping probe into rugby league and Australian rules teams that has rocked two of the country’s most popular sports, the AOC has added the new clauses to tighten up their anti-doping code.

Athletes and officials will be obliged to cooperate with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) even if “to do so might tend to incriminate or expose them to a penalty.”

“To be clear, failure to co-operate with and assist ASADA, in every way, can result in an athlete or official being ruled out of an Olympic team,” AOC President John Coates said in a news release.

Coates is a strong proponent of stricter penalties for those found guilty of providing or using banned substances and has previously called on the Australian government to make them criminal offences.

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