LONDON (Reuters) - The British Olympic Association (BOA) on Tuesday filed a formal appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in their dispute with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over controversial lifetime Olympic bans for drugs cheats.
The BOA bans any British athlete guilty of a doping offence from future Olympics. WADA ruled last month that the hardline stance broke the world body's own rules, which specify a maximum two-year ban for a first offence.
CAS had ruled in October that an International Olympic Committee rule similar to the BOA's, excluding athletes banned for six months or more from the next Olympics, amounted to a second sanction and contravened WADA's anti-doping code.
The IOC accepted the CAS ruling and nullified its law.
"The BOA selection policy is a direct expression of the commitment British athletes have made to uphold the values of fair play, integrity and clean competition - values that are at the heart of Olympic sport," BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said in a statement.
"It is a policy that reflects the culture and character of Team GB. The BOA and British Olympic athletes do not consider that those who have deliberately cheated should represent Britain at the Olympic Games."
The BOA said it had appealed to CAS to "obtain clarity on the status of its selection policy well in advance of the London 2012 Olympic Games."
The Games open on July 27.
The statement added that "the BOA and WADA have agreed that CAS is the appropriate forum for resolution of this matter, and both parties are seeking to arrange matters so that a decision can be made by CAS before the end of April 2012.
"We appreciate the opportunity to appear before CAS and explain why our selection policy is entirely consistent with the Olympic Charter, and why it is essential for National Olympic Committees to have the autonomy and independence to determine their own selection policies."
(Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Alan Baldwin)