Anti-Doping News: Need for Greater Harmonization

by ITU Admin on 04 Feb, 2009 12:01

The 2003 World Anti-doping Agencys (WADAs) Code allowed for much more flexibility than the 2009 WADA Code that was put into effect on January 1st, 2009.  One of the goals of the new Code is greater harmonization so that athletes from all sports are treated the same.  From WADAs Play True magazine (Issue 3- 2008), while the 2003 Code left it up to the anti-doping organization to determine the number of missed tests that should lead to an anti-doping rule violation, this rule was harmonized and made mandatory as part of the Code review.  The 2009 Code now provides that any combination of three missed tests and/or failures by an athlete to provide accurate whereabouts information within an 18-month period shall constitute an anti-doping rule violation (Article 2.4). (See the section on the International Standard for Testing, pages 10-11.)

There is also greater harmonization in the application of sanctions for this type of infraction. While the original Code allowed for sanctions ranging from three months to two years, the revised Code sets the period of ineligibility at a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years, based on the athletes degree of fault (Article 10.3.3).  The goal in reducing the amount of flexibility in this area is to reinforce consistency while allowing the panels judging the cases to take into account all the circumstances of the individual cases.

If you have any questions regarding Anti-doping, please contact Leslie Buchanan, ITUs Anti-Doping Director at

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