Athletics: Ban countries that sanction doping from world c'ships, says Paula Radcliffe

LONDON (AFP) - World marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe on Thursday said that countries found to have sanctioned doping practices should be banned from taking part at the world championships.

The British runner also said that forcing a young athlete to cheat was similar to "physical or sexual abuse", and called for those who supply drugs in the sport to be sent to jail.

"Everything we can do to increase the deterrent is good and where it is blatant or there is evidence that it may be institutionalised, or at the very least countries are turning a blind eye to it, you could ban that team from the world championships for a year or two," she wrote in The Times newspaper.

"There needs to be something so member federations are not aiding and abetting doping.

"I also think there should be jail terms for suppliers. There are jail terms for the suppliers of recreational drugs, so why not for sports doping?"

The Turkish Athletics Federation has announced the suspension of 31 athletes for two years over doping offences, and Radcliffe said she would not vote for Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympics on those grounds.

Istanbul is competing for the right to organise the 2020 Games with Tokyo and Madrid.

"I don't have a vote but I wouldn't be voting for Turkey," the 39-year-old told the Daily Mail.

"I'm not sure I would (vote) for Madrid either, until they release the Operation Puerto (cycling doping scandal) bags.

"They should be cleaning the house before they can think about hosting the Olympics because it's a huge honour. There should be some way of sanctioning federations."

Radcliffe said that national federations who forced athletes to dope were "essentially abusing those athletes".

She added: "In the case of young athletes, sometimes they are being abused, in the same way as physical abuse or sexual abuse, if they are being forced to engage in drug abuse.

"I think the fact the testing is coming in at a high level means there will be greater positive tests.

"It is making sure we concentrate on those federations who are producing more positive tests, and at junior level as well."