Anti-Doping Update: Specific Substances

by ITU Admin on 29 Jan, 2009 12:01

This weeks installment about Anti-Doping continues to highlight the changes to the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Code which took effect on January 1st, 2009.  This section will discuss the changes that are specific to Specified Substances.

According to WADAs Play True magazine (Issue 3-2008), While all prohibited methods, the classes of anabolic agents and hormones, as well as stimulants, hormone antagonists and modulators so identified in the 2009 Prohibited List maintain their status, the remainder of prohibited substances will now be considered as specified substances for the purpose of more flexible sanctions.  This means that where athletes can clearly establish how a specified substance entered their body or came into their possession, and that such substance was not intended to enhance sport performance, the sanction may be reduced as low as a reprimand and no period of ineligibility.

At the same time, the use of non-specified substances should be more likely to result in a standard two-year ban for a first anti-doping rule violation, or to a ban of up to four years in cases of aggravating circumstances under the revised Code.

Specified substances, as defined in the revised Code, are not necessarily less serious agents for purposes of doping than other prohibited substances.  For that reason, an athlete who does not meet the reduction criteria could receive up to a four-year period of ineligibility in case of aggravating circumstances.  However, there is a greater likelihood that specified substances, as opposed to non-specified substances, could be susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation.

If you have any questions about Anti-doping, please contact Leslie Buchanan, ITU Anti-doping Director at

Click here for more on ITU Anti-Doping

Click here for the official WADA website

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