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Swiss Olympic meeting

Sport body doubles doping penalty

The penalty for doping in Switzerland has been doubled, with athletes blocked from their sport for four years instead of two if they use performance-enhancing drugs, Swiss Olympic has announced.

In addition to extending the penalty for doping, the Sport Parliament – Swiss Olympic’s governing body  –  extended the statute of limitations on testing an athlete’s sample for illegal drugs from eight to 10 years in its annual meeting on Friday.

In future, member organsations of Swiss Olympic will also be required to work with the foundation Anti-Doping Switzerland to prevent doping by their athletes.

Sport Minister Ueli Maurer opened Friday’s meeting by stating that sport had gained acceptance and a better status among the public, “but more patience is required and we haven’t reached our goal yet”.

Maurer also announced an expected 8% growth in the government’s sport budget in the coming year.

Jörg Schild, the president of Swiss Olympic, thanked Maurer for the additional funding, adding that another CHF30 million ($31 million) are needed to make Swiss sport teams internationally competitive. He cited the examples of Holland and Australia, which “massively expanded” their investments in sport in recent years.

In order to better fund sport in Switzerland, Schild is calling for more profits from the Swiss lottery to be invested into sport. Certain cantons, he said, give fewer than 30% of their lottery profits to sport, when it should be more than a third.

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