SACA PLAYER TIPS: ANTI-DOPING

 

What is the concept of Strict Liability

Strict Liability means that you are responsible for every substance that enters your body.  If you test positive, you are regarded as being guilty until you prove that you are innocent.

 

What substances are banned?

WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) produces a list on an annual basis of substances that are banned.  This list can be obtained from WADA (www.wada-ama.org), SAIDS (www.drugfreesport.org) or through SACA.   You should ensure that you have access to this list.

 

What is the difference between a specified substance and a non-specified substance?

A specified substance is a substance which allows, under defined conditions, for a greater reduction of a two-year sanction when an athlete tests positive as there is a greater likelihood that these substances could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation – such as entering the system through the use of flu medication

Non-specified substances and methods are considered to be less likely to have a non-doping explanation.  Examples would be steroids, testosterone etc.  There is little scope for a reduction in the two-year sanction when an athlete tests positive for these substances.

  

What if a banned substance is prescribed as medication for a genuine health complaint?

The anti-doping rules allow for what is called a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).  This is a form which an athlete can complete (it requires medical input as well) which sets out the medical reasons why the athlete requires specific medication.  The application is then sent to a panel of medical experts who consider the case, and make a determination as to whether the exemption will be permitted.  If permitted, then a positive test for the substance listed will not result in the initiation of the anti-doping disciplinary process.

 

What is the sanction for a positive test?

The maximum sanction is 2 years.  Given that the principle is strict liability – the onus is on the athlete to present evidence on the points above (how did it enter you system? No intent to enhance performance or no fault or negligence/no significant fault or negligence).  If the positive test is for a specified substance it could be reduced to a mere reprimand, but this is very rare.  In the majority of cases where the athlete presents sound evidence on the points, he still received a sanction of a number of months.  As far as non-specified substances are concerned, the sanction can only be reduced from 24 months to 12 months – but this only occurs in exceptional cases – most sanctions are for the full 24 month period.

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