Australia to crack down on athletes` entourages

The Australian Olympic Committee will make the country`s top athletes sign pledges that they have never worked with coaches or support staff that have engaged in doping-related activity.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will introduce new measures from 2015 that will extend punishments for drugs violations to athletes` entourages.

The AOC said it was moving early to bring national sports federations up to code, and would work with Australia`s peak anti-doping agency to send letters to 1,200 "shadow" athletes for the 2016 Rio Games.

Athletes would need to sign a consent form declaring they had never worked with any support staff who had been found to have been involved in doping. 

"Article 2.10 is simple," Coates said in a statement on Monday, referring to the new WADA clause on entourages.

"It says athletes are forbidden from associating with these people in any professional or sports-related way. They are now off limits, out of the picture totally."

Australian sport has been rocked by the involvement of support staff in doping, with a prominent sports scientist implicated in drug charges handed to dozens of top-flight rugby league players and Australian Rules footballers in recent months.

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