Australia's Olympic athletes will be required to sign statutory declarations saying they have no history of doping, the country's Olympic committee said on Tuesday. Athletes competing at next year's Winter Games in Sochi will be the first to sign the mandatory document in the wake of the recent doping revelations, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said in a statement.
"Any person who does not make the statutory declaration will be ineligible for membership of any Australian Olympic team or shadow team," the statement read. An Australian Crime Commission report released last week said it had found "widespread" use of banned drugs among professional and amateur athletes, with links to gambling and organised crime.
The Australian anti-doping officials met with six National Rugby league clubs on their investigation process on Tuesday after the clubs confirmed they were under scrutiny.
Determined to "vigorously pursue all potential anti-doping rule violations", the AOC warned false declaration would incur harsh penalties for the athletes and even the officials.
"Any person who wilfully and corruptly makes a false statutory declaration knowing it to be untrue will be guilty of a criminal offence and could face up to 5 years imprisonment," it said. Declaration details would be shared with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA), AOC president John Coates said.
"This may include verifying the contents of a statutory declaration, reporting suspected false declarations, or identifying instances where a person or group of persons refuses to sign the statutory declaration altogether," Coates added.