General process for a potential anti-doping rule violation
ASADA follows the principles set out under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) to establish a process for the administration of potential anti-doping rule violations.
A positive doping test is one of eight anti-doping rule violations an athlete or support person can commit under the Code. Therefore, each potential anti-doping rule violation brought before ASADA is unique in both its circumstances and the time it takes to reach a conclusion.
ASADA’s policy is to not talk or speculate about individuals during the process as Australian legislation ensures that an athlete or support person has their privacy protected while a matter is being reviewed.
It is important to remember that in all potential doping cases it is the athlete’s reputation and sometimes career that is at stake.
Therefore, ASADA has a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process. Sanctions for violations can range from a warning, to a short suspension, to a lifetime ban.
The process set out here describes the general course of action that a matter may take through to its conclusion.
The exact detail of the process will depend upon the anti-doping policy of the relevant sport.
||ASADA cannot discuss specific details of its testing program with individual athletes or specific sports.
- The WADA-accredited lab analyses samples in accordance with the WADA International Standard for Laboratories.
- At no stage in the process is information identifying an athlete to a particular sample provided to the lab.
- ASADA receives reports of adverse analytical findings (that is, a positive anti-doping test result).
- If an athlete records a positive anti-doping test result and does not have a Therapeutic Use Exemption, and the relevant international standards have been followed, ASADA notifies the athlete, national sporting organisation, international federation and WADA about the details of the potential anti-doping rule violation.
- The athlete is also provided with details about their rights in regards to the analysis of their B sample.
- A provisional suspension will be imposed on the athlete, in line with the relevant sport’s anti-doping policy, unless the prohibited substance involved is a ‘specified substance’ (which is more susceptible to inadvertent use, e.g. some asthma medications).
- ASADA then presents information to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP) about a potential violation of the World Anti-Doping Code.
|When and what we can say about an individual athlete is strictly governed by our legislation.
ASADA cannot comment on provisional suspensions unless it has received the consent of the athlete or support person involved, or is responding to public statements made by the athlete or support person.
Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel
- The ADRVP is a decision-making body independent from ASADA whose members are appointed by the Minister for Sport.
- The panel assesses the information presented to them by the athlete, ASADA and any other relevant party.
- After due consideration the panel decides on whether a possible anti-doping rule violation has been committed, and whether to enter an athlete’s details on to its Register of Findings.
- If the ADRVP decides that an anti-doping rule violation has been committed, the athlete is given the opportunity to have a hearing before a sports tribunal.
- The sports tribunal is responsible for the final determination of the matter and for imposing any relevant sanction under the anti-doping policy for the athlete’s sport.
- Athletes can waive their right to a hearing. In these cases, the sport’s anti-doping policy will provide what the appropriate outcome may be.
- Depending on their sport’s anti-doping policy and whether they waived their right to a hearing, athletes may be able to appeal to their sport’s anti-doping tribunal and the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
- Separately, an athlete can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal a decision by the ADRVP to place their details on its Register of Findings.
|ASADA is authorised to publicly release information regarding an athlete’s ban once a final determination has been made by the relevant sport or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
If the athlete does not contest the ADRVP recommendation or the sports tribunal decides against the athlete, ASADA will issue a public announcement within 20 days of the matter being finalised.
- Under its legislation, ASADA has a function to
investigate possible violations of anti-doping
rules to determine whether there is evidence of
an ADRV, as defined by the National Anti-Doping Scheme and the World Anti-Doping
- An ADRV can be established against an athlete
without a positive test.
- ASADA has in place information-sharing
relationships with government agencies, law
enforcement bodies and sporting
- Intelligence is also received from a variety of
sources including the general public through
tip offs, through doping control field work,
athlete whereabouts, and scientific analysis.
- As a government agency, ASADA is bound by
Commonwealth Fraud Control guidelines.
ASADA’s intelligence and investigations
functions are also conducted in accordance
with the Australian Government Investigations Standards.
- ASADA analyses referrals of performance and
image-enhancing drugs information received
from Customs, Law Enforcement bodies and
any other intelligence sources to determine if a
case proceeds to investigation status.
- Once a matter becomes an ASADA
investigation there are several steps involved
such as interviewing appropriate people and
gathering relevant evidence of a possible
ADRV. The length of this process varies based
on unique circumstances and complexity of the
investigation. For instance, the discovery of
evidence may lead to further avenues of
enquiry in an investigation.
- Upon the completion of an investigation, all
relevant evidence and material for potential
ADRVs are referred to ASADA’s Legal team for
- Generally ASADA informs an athlete or support
person and their relevant sporting
administration body of an investigation at the
point ASADA decides that there may be a
- In accordance with its legislative framework,
ASADA puts formal allegations of a possible
ADRV to the athlete or support person in
anticipation of the matter being considered by
the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation
- The athlete or support person has the
opportunity to make a submission to the
ADRVP prior to their consideration of a matter.
|ASADA cannot discuss specific details
of its intelligence and investigations
program. ASADA is bound by the
ASADA Act and ASADA Regulations,
the World Anti-Doping Code, the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
International Standard for the
Protection of Privacy and Personal
Information and the Privacy Act. All of
these documents contain provisions
that regulate when and what ASADA
can say about individual matters.
Athletes or support persons are
generally allowed ten days to provide
material to the the ADRVP for
consideration. This timeframe can be
extended at the request of an athlete
or support person. The extension of
time generally occurs in complicated
matters to provide fairness and allow
an athlete to obtain and provide
relevant information to the ADRVP.
- The ADRVP is a decision-making body
independent from ASADA whose members are
appointed by the Minister for Sport.
- The ADRVP reviews ASADA’s processes and all
relevant evidence in a matter and makes
decisions as to whether to enter an athlete or
support person’s details onto the Register of
Findings if it believes that a person has
possibly committed an ADRV.
- An athlete or support person can appeal a
decision of the ADRVP to the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Appeals to the AAT are
only in relation to whether ASADA has complied
with its legislative framework and whether
there is sufficient evidence for a possible ADRV
to have been committed. Appeals to the AAT do
not cover issues such as possible sanctions
under an individual sport’s anti-doping policy or
whether an actual ADRV has occurred.
|ASADA cannot comment publicly on
ADRVP matters, including whether a
matter is going to the ADRVP or on
the outcome of any decision of the
There is no set timeframe to resolve
appeals to the AAT. Athletes or
support persons are allowed 28 days
from receiving notification of their
entry onto the Register of Findings to
make a decision to appeal to the AAT.
- If an athlete or support person is entered on to
the Register of Findings by the ADRVP, the
athlete or support person will receive an
‘infraction notice’ in accordance with their
sport’s anti-doping policy.
- The infraction notice will provide the athlete
with the opportunity to have a first instance
hearing before a Sports Tribunal (such as the
Ordinary Division of the Court of Arbitration for
- The Sports Tribunal is responsible for finding
whether an ADRV has actually been committed
and for imposing any relevant sanction under
the sport’s anti-doping policy.
- Athletes and support persons can waive their
right to a hearing. In these cases, the sport will
decide the appropriate sanction in accordance
with its anti-doping policy.
- Athletes or support persons, ASADA, WADA or
an athlete or support person’s International
Federation may be able to appeal the first
instance Sports Tribunal decision to the
Appeals Division of the Court of Arbitration for
- Note: Sports Tribunal hearings differ from court
proceedings as they are generally closed to the
public. The timeframe for conducting hearings
varies according to the complexity of individual
|Athletes are generally provided a 14
day timeframe to respond to an
infraction notice under their sport’s
ASADA is authorised to publicly
release information regarding the
outcome of a matter (such as, the name of an athlete or support person,
the length of an athlete or support
person’s ban, the ADRVs committed by an athlete or support person) once
a final determination has been made
by the relevant sport or a Sports
Tribunal (pending any appeals).
If the athlete or support person does
not elect to go to a hearing, or the
Sports Tribunal decides against the
athlete or support person, ASADA will
issue a public announcement within
20 days of the matter being finalised.
Full written decisions of the ordinary
Division of the Court of Arbitration for
Sport that an ADRV has been
committed are not always publised
and may be confidential.
outlined above (pending any appeals)
ASADA will publish the outcome of the
Generally, full written decisions of the
Appeals Division of the Court of
Arbitration for Sport that an ADRV has
been committed are available for