British weightlifter suspended for 2 years for taking steroids

LONDON - UK Anti-Doping has banned weightlifter George Winston for two years after he admitted using banned steroids and a masking agent.

The ban, which started Dec 3, 2012, followed an in-competition test on Nov 10. It could have been four years, but because Winston admitted to a doping offense, the maximum under the World Anti-Doping Code is two years.

That maximum was criticized on Monday by UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson.

Announcing Winston's ban, Parkinson said "the automatic benefit of a prompt admission" of doping was among the issues raised in an ongoing review of the code.

He said "we do not think that this sends a strong enough message to the sports community and we will continue to press for tougher sanctions for serious dopers in the revised code."

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