Significant potential benefits are available for a person if they co-operate with an ASADA investigation. The benefits flow from rules in the in the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) with respect to 'Substantial Assistance'.
Substantial Assistance is where an athlete, athlete support person or other person who may have committed a potential anti-doping rule violation co-operates with anti-doping organisations and provides assistance and information to establish anti-doping rule violations, or other qualifying offences, by others. It may be possible to receive up to a 75 per cent reduction in the otherwise applicable sanction if a person provides Substantial Assistance.
There are strict guidelines under the Code and sport anti-doping policies which govern any reduction in the period of Ineligibility a person may receive arising out of the assistance they provide to us throughout the course of our investigations.
If a person satisfies several conditions we may recommend that a sport seek to impose a reduced penalty on a person. To receive this discount a person must:
- waive their right to a hearing under their relevant anti-doping policy
- fully disclose in a signed written statement all the information they know in relation to anti-doping rule violations, or other qualifying offences
- fully co-operate with the investigation and hearing of any case related to the information they provide in their statement, including, for example, giving evidence at a hearing if requested to do so by ASADA and/or their sport
- provide truthful information that is credible.
To qualify, the information provided must comprise an important part of any case which is initiated or, if no case is initiated, must have provided a sufficient basis on which a case could have been brought.
The earlier in the investigation a person co-operates and provides useful information that amounts to Substantial Assistance, the greater the discount they are likely to receive.
If a person delays in providing information to us, they run the risk that the same information will be obtained from someone else. If that happens when they do decide to co-operate the information is not likely to form an important part of any case and they will not be entitled to any discount for Substantial Assistance.
If all the criteria stated above are fulfilled by an athlete or support person and any reduction in sanction is given to them (including the suspension of three quarters of the maximum period of Ineligibility), WADA and the athlete’s International Federation still have a right to appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration of Sport. In any such appeal it would be for the athlete or support person, with the support of ASADA and their National Federation, to demonstrate that the sanction was suspended reasonably and in accordance with theCode.