Blog: 2015 World Anti-Doping Code – What will changes to the Code mean for you? (Part three)

22 December 2014

This is the last in a series of blogs we are publishing to help explain the main changes to the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) that comes into force on 1 January 2015.

In our first and second blogs we wrote about:

  • new anti-doping rule violations
  • changes to the length of sanctions
  • flexibility in sanctions
  • changes to substantial assistance
  • rules on banned athletes returning to training
  • the focus on intelligence and investigations
  • change to the statutory limitation period
  • amendment to whereabouts
  • role of education.

In our last blog in the series we’ll take a look at:

  • the increased focus on athlete support personnel
  • prohibited association and support personnel
  • support personnel and prohibited substances.

Increased focus on athlete support personnel who are involved in doping

Amendments to the 2015 Code have been included to better reach athlete support personnel who are involved in doping.

Doping can involve coaches, trainers, or other athlete support personnel. Additionally, in many cases, those athlete support personnel are outside the jurisdiction of anti-doping authorities. There was widespread support among the stakeholders to revise the Code to better address the problem of the role of athlete support personnel in doping.

The 2015 Code now states that one of the roles and responsibilities of International Federations is to adopt rules which obligate their national federations to require athlete support personnel who participate in their activities to agree to the results management authority of applicable anti-doping organisations.

The revised Code requires International Federations and National Anti-Doping Organisations to conduct an automatic investigation of athlete support personnel in the case of any anti-doping rule violation by a minor or any athlete support personnel who has provided support to more than one athlete found to have committed an anti-doing rule violation.

Support personnel and prohibited association

For those athlete support personnel who have been involved in doping activities but are currently outside the jurisdiction of anti-doping authorities, the 2015 amendments add a new anti-doping rule violation entitled Prohibited Association.

This article makes it an anti-doping rule violation for an athlete or other person to associate in a professional or sport-related capacity with athlete support personnel who are currently ineligible, who have been convicted in a criminal, disciplinary, or professional proceeding for conduct that would constitute doping, for the longer of six years from the conviction/decision or the duration of the criminal, disciplinary, or professional sanction imposed;  or someone who is serving as a front for such a person.

Support personnel and prohibited substances

Article 21.2.6 in the Code is a new addition to the roles and responsibilities of athlete support personnel. This addition provides that ‘athlete support personnel shall not use or possess any prohibited substance or prohibited method without valid justification’. Violation of this article by an athlete support person is not an anti-doping rule violation, but does give rise to disciplinary action under sport disciplinary rules.