WADA aims to increase doping bans from two years to four years

Agency's president outlines measures in draft of World Anti-Doping Code due to take effect in 2015

by Simon_MacMichael   November 19, 2012  


The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has outlined plans to extend the length of first-time bans from two years to four years for athletes committing serious doping offences.

The proposal is contained in a new draft of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and if approved would come into effect from 2015 onwards. It would apply to case involving, among other things, the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, trafficking and prohibited methods.

“It is clear from the number of submissions we received, that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community to strengthen the sanction articles in the Code,” explained Fahey.

“This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.

“The Code review is intended to increase the effectiveness of anti-doping, and athletes must know that there is a heavy price to pay for intentional doping, that the risks are high. I am confident this draft will deliver that message loud and clear, and that our own stakeholders will agree.”

The second draft of the WADC will be published on 3 December 2012, with a consultation period for stakeholders running from then until 1 March 2013. There will also be a later opportunity for them to provide input and feedback during the third and final phase of the draft.

Among other changes proposed to the WADC are that the criteria for substances or methods to be included on WADA’s Prohibited List should include that “it must first have the potential to be performance enhancing, and second be either contrary to the spirit of sport or contrary to the health of athletes.”

WADA said that some suggested changes had not made it into the draft, including a suggestion that the B sample be dropped, and that the sanction process for teams should be amended should two or more members test positive. Those provisions will remain unaltered from their preset form.

The agency confirmed that the forthcoming version of the WADC omits Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter, also known as the Osaka rule, which had provided that athletes convicted of a doping offence would not be allowed to take part in the following edition of the Olympic Games.

That rule was successfully challenged last year by 2008 Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt, and paved the way for the British Olympic Association lifetime ban to be overturned.

The proposed four year ban would of course have the effect of ensuring that athletes receiving that sanction would not appear in the subsequent Olympic Games depending on how much of it was applied retrospectively.

Fahey also revealed that for the second year running, WADA’s funding would be frozen at around $28 million and warned that unless further funding became available, it would need to look at ways of saving money.

Currently, WADA is funded in equal measure by the Olympic Movement and national governments around the world. The Olympic Movement’ policy is to match governmental contributions dollar for dollar only once thoe have been made.

“This is the second year in a row that we have received a zero-percent increase, and while we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping in sport,” he said.

“It is widely accepted that doping is a major issue no longer restricted to the sporting world, and that it must be addressed by society as a whole.

“WADA has dipped into reserves over the last two years to cover shortfalls for its operating costs, but if funding continues to remain the same then the Agency will be forced to cut back its activities.”

The WADA president also expressed concerns about the impact of European Union data protection legislation with regards to its potential effect on the submission of information by athletes to anti-doping databases.

“It is important to acknowledge the impact this legislation will have, and it is essential our representatives from Europe report back to us on the steps that are being taken to resolve this potential issue,” he explained.

5 user comments

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It is widely accepted that doping is a major issue no longer restricted to the sporting world, and that it must be addressed by society as a whole.

At first these seem to be fairly innocuous words, then one begins to wonder what they actually mean. Are they simply referring to armature timed (Sportives, fondos, rondee or London marathon)but non competitive events. Or are they claiming that doping (the use of performance enhancing drugs) is going on in business and social life beyond recreational drug usage and the hopeful consumption of supplements and vit B tabs. That would cast the banking crisis in a new light!

Perhaps one should wonder more about WADAs agenda in bringing up such a spurious statement, then what they mean by it.


posted by lushmiester [163 posts]
19th November 2012 - 14:33


So, four years would mean an actual ban of 2.5 years instead of 6 months for Bertie as he got last time. Sounds a bit more meaningful. Thinking


posted by pastaman [261 posts]
19th November 2012 - 19:40


I guess this is at least a token step in the right direction

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posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
19th November 2012 - 21:34


Moving the right way. Obviously some detail and political stuff still to be done. Not least getting more money - freezing budgets will not help research or expand testing.


posted by doc [167 posts]
21st November 2012 - 11:57


For many years now the prats of Aigle have been talking about 4 year bans ! Yes talking ! Fact is that there have been provisions available BUT they are too lazy to use them .
When talk becomes action mc phat will get to show he is capable of doing a part of his job ! Too little , too late , seems to be his personal " reason d ètre`"!

WADA , should impose from the 1st Jan 2013 , 4 year bans , get the job done !

Those that read my comments know of the " Change.org petition " and yet , so far , no one seems to want to change the " status quo ". Of course there are those that criticise my way of voicing my opinion , to them , my response : " Do BETTER "! Show me a better way !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [409 posts]
25th November 2012 - 17:11