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WADA Does Not Believe Doping Should be a Criminal Offence for Athletes

release by WADA
October 27, 2015 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has noted the recent commentary via the media suggesting that doping in sport should be made a criminal offence for athletes.

WADA does not wish to interfere in the sovereign right of any government to make laws for its people. However the Agency believes that the sanction process for athletes, which includes a right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), is a settled process, accepted by all governments of the world, and further that the sanctions for a doping violation by an athlete, which now includes a longer, four-year period of ineligibility, have been globally accepted by sport and government. As such, the Agency does not believe that doping should be made a criminal offence for athletes.

WADA and its partners in the anti-doping community do however encourage governments to introduce laws that penalize those who are trafficking and distributing banned substances; those individuals who are ultimately putting banned substances into the hands of athletes. This is a commitment that governments made in ratifying the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.

The Agency acknowledges that countries that have introduced criminal legislation for doping have been effective in catching athlete support personnel that possess or traffic performance enhancing drugs. It seems that, given the threat of being imprisoned, these personnel are often more cooperative with anti-doping authorities. We have seen evidence of this in Italy, for example, with a large number of Italian nationals currently listed as having ‘disqualifying status’ under the Prohibited Association clause of the Code – a list that was first issued by WADA in September.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Ben Aroundo, ON, Canada says:

    Doping in any sports event should be a criminal offence because the indiscriminate doper is damaging or destroying careers, reducing the income and stealing prize money from clean competitors and I could include the betting industry as their victim too.

    The blow back from doping looks criminal to me.

  2. Ben Aroundo, ON, Canada says:

    Forgot to mention the damage done to the sport as well with disenfranchising and the falling out of fans, less of a TV audience, less support of sponsors, fewer young athletes entering the sport, and the permanent negative view and scar to the sport.

  3. Rumblebee, Ont, Can says:

    Wada is a joke. Testing is a joke.
    They know if the world governing bodies criminalise doping on their advise that they’ll be embroiled in court cases which will burn through most of their budget. Plus they really don’t want their methods scrutinised to the extent that those same governments start to reconsider their fu,ding requirements. Not wanting doping to be a crime only proves WADA is a joke in the FIGHT against doping.

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