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Ban all drug offenders, says long jump champ

RECORD BREAKER: Powell

LONG JUMP world record holder Mike Powell suggests that athletes found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs should face a lifetime ban.

Generally, any track and field competitor who tests positive for performance enhancing drugs faces a two-year ban from competing and an Olympic Games exclusion although these rules have varied on occasions.

Powell, a two-time world champion and double Olympic silver medallist, believes athletes should never be allowed back on the track should they have been confirmed to have taken banned substances.

"I think if you are using drugs, you should be banned for life," said the 47-year-old American, who broke Bob Beamon’s long-standing mark of 8.90m by five centimetres in a famous long jump duel against Carl Lewis in Tokyo, Japan in 1991.

"Athletics is at the forefront of any sport in the world as far as taking control to eliminate performance enhancing drugs (is concerned).

Powell added: "Athletics is one of the few sports which is willing to burst its stars. As of now, if you try to use something, you are taking a big, big risk.”

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