Sanctions for doping offences
92. Sanctions for doping offences must be in line
with the WADA code and may depend on several factors such as the
sport's governing body's regulations; the class of substance or
method found to be used; the number of times the competitor has
had a positive test result; and the explanation given by a competitor
for the presence of a prohibited substance in their test sample.
Depending on the nature of the offence, the governing body may
then impose sanctions ranging from a warning to a ban of three
months, two years (the standard ban), four years, or even life.
The length of ban given is currently being looked at under the
review of the WADA Code with the suggestion that the ban for first-time
doping offences should be increased to 4 years.
Dr Budgett supported an increase in the ban, particularly for
Olympic sports. He told us that that "many of us in sport
feel it should be four years" as it is "ridiculous if
someone can come back and compete in the very next games having
been caught the first time".
UK Sport to recommend to WADA that a minimum four year ban is
applied in all incidences of proven doping.
93. Some governing bodies may also impose financial
penalties upon athletes found guilty of doping. In addition, UK
Sport told us that the UK is the only country internationally
that will not allow continuation of funding for an athlete caught
with a serious doping offence and that UK Sport does not "believe
it is acceptable at all for anyone who has chosen to take drugs
to receive public funding".
Another approach is taken in Australia where, under Australian
regulation, athletes there are prevented from competing whilst
under investigation for doping offences, an action which further
prevents any financial or career gain from cheating. Whilst we
welcome moves to prevent athletes from benefiting from future
financial gains whilst under sanction for doping offences, we
do not believe that this goes far enough. We were therefore interested
to hear suggestions from Michele Verroken that financial rewards
already received should be repaid when a doping offence occurs.
Bruce Hamilton agreed with this view, telling us that he thought
it would be "more than reasonable" for an athlete to
pay such money back.
We urge UK Sport to consider
a mechanism by which athletes would be liable for repayment of
all financial gains, perhaps from the point of the last 'clean'
test they had given.
94. We are also keen that athletes should be encouraged
to disclose sources of doping material and not be allowed back
on the competitive circuit until they have done so. We recognise
that there are difficulties in this. Professor Ljungqvist pointed
out that "The problem we face over and again with athletes
is that they simply refuse to disclose".
Dr Budgett of the BOA added that there "may be the odd athlete
who actually is innocent but has the substance in his urine"
and in such circumstances, disclosure would be impossible.
However, he concluded that "on balance, it would be a sensible
proposal that, before they are allowed back in the sport, [athletes]
must tell the doping authorities where they obtained the substances."
We recommend that UK Sport and sporting bodies consider making
it a requirement that athletes should disclose sources of doping
before they are allowed to return to competitive sport.
95. In the UK investigation and prosecution of doping
is undertaken by the governing body for a particular sport. However,
sometimes disputes may occur between the prosecuting body and
an athlete claiming innocence, and in these cases there may be
an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Last year,
for example, Rugby Union player Wendell Sailor appealed to the
CAS following a two year ban for taking cocaine.
During our visit to Australia, we met representatives from CAS
who told us that athletes, clubs, sports federations, organisers
of sports events or even sponsors may refer a case to CAS if they
believe a decision, perhaps to ban an athlete, has been made inappropriately.
96. CAS has interlocking agreements with sporting
bodies which detail its jurisdiction in disagreements relating
to doping and the CAS representatives were keen to impress upon
us the importance of ensuring that CAS has appropriate jurisdiction
within the UK and EU prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. We
are perturbed that CAS should perceive this to be a potential
problem. We urge the Government
to clarify the position regarding the jurisdiction of the Court
of Arbitration for Sport for arbitration and mediation of disputes
in doping cases which may occur prior to and during the London
2012 Olympics and to take any steps necessary to ensure that appropriate
jurisdiction is established.
137 PMP Review of Anti-Doping, http://www.uksport.gov.uk/images/uploaded/PMP_6b.pdf Back
HC [2003-04] 499-I, para 79 Back
Ev 95 Back
Ev 95 Back
Q 273-282 Back
Q 316 Back
Ev 105 Back
Q 191 Back
Q 192 Back
Q 191 Back
Q 273 Back
Q 89 Back
Ev 86 Back
Legal Regulation Of Doping In Sport: The Case For The Prosecution,
Gregory Ioannidis, LLB, LLM, Barrister, Lecturer in Law &
Research Associate in Sport Law University of Buckingham (UK),
page 5, http://buckingham.ac.uk/publicity/academics/articles/ioannidis-lrodis.pdf Back
Ev 86 Back
Q 258 Back
As above Back
Q 259 Back
Q 260 Back
Q 323 Back
Q 322 Back
Q 322 Back
Notes from WADA Executive Committee meeting, September 2006. Available
from the WADA website at: http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/Info_Code_Review_ExCo_Sept2006.pdf Back
Q 217 Back
Q 12 Back
Ev 87 Back
Q 196 Back
Q 223 Back
Q 224 Back
As above Back
"Sailor appeals against drugs ban", 25 August 2006,
BBS Sport News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/rugby_union/5285538.stm Back