Consequences of Doping
Doping can be defined as committing one or more of the following anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs):
- Test positive for a prohibited substance.
- Use or attempt to use a prohibited substance or method.
- Evade testing or refuse to provide a sample for testing.
- Commit three (3) Whereabouts failures (filing failures or missed tests) within a 12-month period (this applies to Registered Test Pool athletes only).
- Tamper with any part of the doping control process.
- Possess prohibited substances or methods.
- Traffick or attempt to traffick a prohibited substance or method.
- Administer a prohibited substance or method.
- Help someone to dope or help them conceal it.
- Associate with someone (in a sport-related capacity) who is serving a ban for an ADRV.
- Commit an act to discourage or retaliate against reporting doping to the authorities.
Note: All eleven (11) ADRVs apply to athletes while seven (7) apply to athlete support personnel (or other person).
Independent Anti-Doping Tribunal
The IPC established an Independent Anti-Doping Tribunal (effective from 01 January 2021) which has jurisdiction to hear and determine alleged anti-doping rule violations. Solicitor Janice Shardlow has been appointed by IPC as the interim President of the Tribunal.
The Tribunal comprises a pool of suitably qualified persons, appointed by the President, who have anti-doping experience including legal, sports, medical and/or scientific expertise.
In most cases, three (3) Tribunal members are appointed by the President to sit on the panel to decide whether or not an athlete (or other person who is subject to the IPC Anti-Doping Code) has committed an anti-doping rule violation and if so, what consequences should be imposed. The Tribunal also hears appeals to a decision by IPC not to grant (or not to recognise) a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Download the Rules of the Independent Anti-Doping Tribunal
If the Tribunal find that an athlete has committed an ADRV, the consequences can be far reaching - going well beyond what is provided for in the Rules.
The Anti-Doping Rules provide for the following sanctions where an ADRV has been committed:
- A period of ineligibility ranging from a warning to a lifetime ban - from all sport.
- The loss of medals and disqualification of results in the competition where the ADRV occurred (and any competition results subsequent to the sample collection).
- Public disclosure of the athlete's name and the details of the ADRV.
There may a be further consequences if the athlete is part of a team, including the loss of medals or competition points, disqualification from an event or other sanctions imposed by the sport.
Physical & Mental Health
Using prohibited substances or methods to enhance performance is highly likely to put both an athlete's physical and mental health at risk. Depending on the type of substance and how it is used, the athlete could experience severe side effects, which can lead to chronic illness and/or irreversible physiological damage.
Furthermore, research has shown a link between the use of performance enhancing drugs and mental health issues, such as anxiety, psychosis and depression.
Reputational & Social Consequences
The Anti-Doping Rules require that ADRVs are made public (unless there are exceptional circumstances). This can lead to embarrassment and shame, social isolation and loss of the athlete's heroine/hero status. Family members and others who have supported the athlete throughout their sporting career will be disappointed. Friendships could be damaged beyond repair.
An ADRV can also have financial impacts, for example:
- Loss of prize money and/or financial penalties.
- Loss of sponsorship, endorsements and other contracts.
- Loss of funding support from the sports organisation and/or the government.
List of Sanctioned Athletes
Click here for a list of athletes currently serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation.