We no longer live in a sporting world where we are governed independently by regional or national bodies, sport is now competed on an international stage bigger than ever before and for that reason needs to be governed by international all-encompassing rules.
We have a code that exists in world sport, it is called the WADA Code, it is constantly being revised in order to stay up to date with the latest anti-doping and judiciary developments. The WADA code sets the standard in sport and it is one that all national governing bodies should operate under.
Whatever the sport may be, from playing with a ball on a pitch, running in lanes on a track, or even racing bicycles through our city streets, each competitor should be subject to the same rules. This is not to help the person who cheats or errs, it is there to protect the athletes who respect the rules. Each time those athletes step into competition they need to know that everybody they compete against is held accountable to one code.
Every doping case is different, as is every human being, we must not forget this. We expect fairness to be an integral part of the sports we watch, and yet fairness can be hard to find in the punishments of those athletes who make mistakes. A lifetime ban for a first offence does not encourage rehabilitation nor education, two things that are necessary for the future prevention of doping in sport.
I hope this decision will pave the way for the development of global sports, and to creating a system that all athletes and sports fans can understand and believe in.