An Introduction and Overview on Anti-Doping

What is Doping?

According to the CPISRA Anti-Doping Rules compliant to the WADA Code, Doping is defined as:

  • Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markets, as defined in the WADA Prohibited List in an athlete’s bodily specimen, except when in agreement with a TUE granted for the particular substance.
  • Use or attempted use of a Prohibited Substance or Methods.
  • Tampering or attempting to temper with any part of Doping Control.
  • Violation of applicable requirements regarding Athlete availability for Out-of-Competition Testing for RTP (Registered Testing Pool) athletes.
  • Possession or trafficking of Prohibited Substances and Methods.
  • Administration or attempted administration of a Prohibited Substance or Method to any athlete, or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rule.
  • Administration or attempted administration to any athlete in-competition of any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method, or administration or attempted administration to any athlete out-of-competition of any Prohibited Substance or any Prohibited Method that is prohibited out-of-competition

 – Complicity : Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation.

– Prohibited Association : Association by an athlete or other person subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organisation in a professional or sport-related capacity with any ineligible athlete / support person because of an Anti-Doping rule violation or equivalent case.

Why is Doping prohibited?

The sports regulations prohibit Doping. Any violation of these rules, be it voluntary or not, constitutes a failure to respect the principle of equal opportunities and, therefore, a disrespect of the sports ethics.

Moreover, the consumption of substances which improve performances can put health in danger. The athlete who has to resort to Doping doesn’t harm only himself but he also negatively affects sports as a whole.

What are the tasks of the CPISRA Anti-Doping Committee?

In 2005, CPISRA constituted a Committee for the fight against Doping charged with the execution of controls and the surveillance of the tests. This committee is responsible for education of CP athletes concerning anti doping, for the conception and the respect of the anti doping rules, for the diffusion of the Prohibited list, for the formation and perfection of the controllers and also the provision of information and advice. Its activities are defined through the Anti Doping Committee Statue.

What about prescribed medicines?

The athlete who must follow a treatment should draw the attention of his/her physician and/or pharmacist to the list of the relevant Doping substances.

If he/she obtains medicines from abroad, he/she must take care of their composition which is mentioned on the note devoted to the patients. The ideal would be to carry away his/her own medicines.

Each athlete should establish, with the help of his/her physician or pharmacist, a personal list of the medicines that he can consume in case of illness- personal medication notebook, this would prevent him from absorbing prohibited substances involuntarily.

The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

A TUE may be granted to an Athlete permitting the use of Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Methods as defined by the Prohibited List for the following reasons:

-The Athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of usual health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.

-There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.

-The necessity for the use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior non–therapeutic use of substances from the Prohibited List.

How long do the medicines remain detectable in urine?

The nature of the medicine, the ingested dose as well as the athlete’s constitution determines the time during which the pharmacological substance will be detectable in urine. Some medicines become undetectable within some hours, others after several months.

What is an Anti-Doping control?

An Anti-Doping control consists in analysing, by accredited laboratories, the urine or blood withdrawals of selected athletes in order to track down the prohibited substances. The discovery of such substances results in taking disciplinary measures against the athlete. Anti-Doping control assures the respect of equal opportunities in competition.

Who is submitted to the controls?

There are two types of tests: In competition tests and Out of competition tests. Concerning the In competition tests at the international level, the athletes submitted to controls are usually selected at random. High-level athletes can equally be submitted to an Out of competition testing. 1. The athlete is called to the centre of controls. 2. Controls are done without warning, for example during a practice camp or training. We speak, therefore, of sudden controls or controls without notice. The athletes who are subject to such controls are notified.

Who is responsible for Anti-Doping controls?

Anti-Doping controls are the expertise of the national and international sport organisations. In CPISRA, during the international competitions, it’s the task of the Organising Committee of the concerned competition to organise the doping control and the responsibility of the CPISRA Anti-Doping Committee to supervise the execution of the tests and to manage the results.

Who is in charge of controls?

The Anti-Doping Organisation assigns controls (Anti Doping Officers) who are formed to execute in and out of competition testing. These Anti Doping Officers are provided with an accreditation card.

During the controls, what about disabled athletes?

Concerning the athletes with physical or intellectual disability, the rules give the right to make all necessary modifications in the notifications process and during the sample collection session.

What happens to urine (or blood) withdrawls?

The withdrawals are sent for analysis (samples A and B) to an accredited laboratory recognised by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) that will search for the prohibited substances. The laboratory will only work on sample A, the sample B is preserved (frozen) in the possibility of a second analysis.

Are the samples of urine (or blood) safe from manipulation?

The equipment of controls has been designed especially for tracking down the doping substances. All its components are new and used only once. The collection vessel containing the samples is closed with a special, patented line that is destroyed when opened. The glass of the collection vessel includes a number of codes, etched with laser, found inside the lid. The transportation of the collecting vessel, from the control unit to the laboratory, and is done by special consignment. Anonymity is respected; the laboratory has knowledge only of the code number.

Are the tests unfailing?

The laboratories which make doping substance analyses satisfy the very strict quality criteria of the World Anti Doping Agency. If a laboratory doesn’t fill the required conditions anymore, it loses its accreditation.

What happens when the result of controls is negative?

If the urine (or blood) tests do not reveal any prohibited substance, the results are considered to be negative. In the case of in competition testing, the results are communicated by the relevant federation, which in turn informs the athlete. The results of Out of competition testing are announced directly by the CPISRA Anti-Doping Committee to the athlete.

What happens when the result of controls is positive?

If the sample contains one or several Prohibited Substances, the results are considered to be positive. In the case of in competition testing, the results are communicated by the CPISRA Anti Doping Committee to the relevant federation, which in turn informs the athlete.

The results of Out of competition testing are announced directly by the CPISRA Anti Doping Committee to the athlete.

The athlete can ask in writing for an analysis of the sample B. He has the right to attend this analysis accompanied by an expert and /or a trustworthy person. If the result is negative, the control is declared negative. On the other hand, if the result confirms the one gotten from sample A, the control is declared positive.

The possible sanctions are decided according to the CPISRA anti doping rules and applied by the federation of the relevant athlete. Prior to this, the athlete has the right to express himself and to have knowledge of the file. The case must remain confidential until the first instance decision.

It is possible to protest a first instance decision. The protest can be forwarded to an unbiased arbitration court, like WADA and Sport Arbitrary Tribunal in Lausanne.

Are the high-level performances possible without Doping?

Yes, thanks to an adapted training, a balanced diet, sufficient periods of recovery, and an aid of quality, the athlete who has resorted to Doping will get, at best, nothing but short–term victories. In the long term, he won’t be able to maintain this high level of performance.