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Aussie chief demands Olympians sign doping declaration

(Reuters) - Australian Olympic chief John Coates wants all athletes, coaches and officials to sign a declaration stating they have never used banned substances before they are allowed to go to a Games.

Coates believes the measure is necessary to prevent the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) being tainted by doping in the same way cycling has by the Lance Armstrong scandal.

"If they don't sign, they don't go to the Games, they won't be selected," the AOC President said in a news release on Friday. "What I don't want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has."

Coates will put the proposal to the AOC board later this month and, if approved, the measure will apply to all members of the delegation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"In my opinion we simply cannot allow the name of the AOC to be damaged, like that of the International Cycling Union (UCI), for not having taken every reasonable step possible to ensure that no person in authority on our Olympic Team has a doping history," Coates added.

Three-times Tour de France winner Greg LeMond last week called on UCI President Pat McQuaid to quit amid a welter of criticism about the way the body had handled the Armstrong affair.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by the UCI last month.

That came only after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had published a report alleging the American had been involved in the "most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".

Armstrong has always denied doping but elected not to contest USADA's charges.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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