Protecting the Right to Enjoy Doping-Free Sport

The Consequences of Doping

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

UK Anti-Doping is an active participant in the global fight against doping and recognises the need to take an international approach.

Partnerships with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UNESCO (2006 UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport), the Council of Europe and the International Anti-Doping Agreement are integral to UK Anti-Doping’s international activities.

It is not simply the detection of a prohibited substance in a sample that can result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV). There are ten ADRVs that can result in a sanction, and these are not only applicable to athletes: a coach or other athlete support personnel could be liable for an ADRV.

Under the Code, if an athlete tests positive for a prohibited substance they will receive  a four-year ban unless they can prove it was inadvertent doping; in which case there is a minimum ban of two years An athlete may be eligible for a further reduced sanction if they can prove they bore ‘no fault or negligence’ and/or the ADRV was as a result of a contaminated product – however proving this is not easy and athletes must have significant proof that they were not at fault or intending to cheat.

There is also a potential for a reduced sanction if an athlete admits guilt promptly following an ADRV or provides substantial assistance during the investigation.

Conversely, failure to report information or knowledge to UKAD regarding an ADRV or not cooperate during an investigation can be treated as misconduct by your  NGB and will be dealt with accordingly.

What is the Difference Between Specified and Non-Specified Substances?

Specified substances are those that are more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation.

Non-specified substances are those where there is no non-doping explanation for having these substances in an athlete’s system.

If you find yourself in a position where you have been informed that you have committed an ADRV, please contact your NGB or UK Anti-Doping to discuss what happens next and to take advice on what you should do. The British Athletes Commission may also be able to help if you are a member.