Track and field gets drugs warning from UK Athletics chief Ed Warner

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Track and field has been told it still has a long way to go to deter drug cheats.

UK Athletics (UKA) has again called for new, hard-hitting measures to be brought in against dopers and reaffirmed its intention to enforce lifetime bans against any British athlete guilty of a serious anti-doping violation.

"We are concerned that the pace of change remains too slow, in spite of the Russian situation and the spotlight it shed on WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and its relationship with the IOC last summer," chairman Ed Warner said.

"There remains too much denial in too many quarters, but we will continue to work to make progress in the areas we can."

UKA has just launched its own "Clean Athletics" brand, which will replace the former anti-doping department; it has also urged for suspensions to be extended "to a minimum of eight years" for serious doping offences to ensure that cheating athletes miss two Olympic or Paralympic cycles.

The governing body insists athletes competing in world championships "have a valid blood/biological passport" and have been subject to a predetermined number of in-competition and out-of-competition tests by the IAAF in the preceding 12 months.

A year on from publishing "A Manifesto for Clean Athletics", Warner said: "The integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015. However, 2016 saw a seismic change in the way athletics responded to doping in sport.

"We are using this one year on moment to launch our own Clean Athletics brand and would urge other sports to follow suit to remain focused on what they want to achieve."

The Russian Athletics Federation remains suspended by the IAAF over state-sponsored doping while the country was banned entirely from competing at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

National anti-doping organisations met in Dublin on Tuesday and concluded that Russia should be banned from both competing in and hosting international sporting events.

"The stances taken by both the IAAF for athletics and the IPC on behalf of all Paralympic sports could be seen as a turning point, but there is still much to do," added Warner.

"Watching federations such as Athletics Ethiopia announce its own lifetime bans is another step in the right direction."