Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New WSF Anti-Doping Rules

There are extensive revisions to the WSF anti-doping rules to reflect the new World Anti-Doping Code that comes into effect 1 January 2015. The key changes are summarised below:
The full documented  Set of Rules can be viewed by downloading the 2015 SAIDS Anti-Doping Rules.
  1. Longer periods of ineligibility for real cheats and more flexibility in sanctioning in other specific circumstances:
    • Intentional doping now has a 4 year penalty (previously 2 years)
    • Athletes who provide assistance in bringing forward an anti-doping violation by another person may have his/her sanction time reduced
    • Voluntary admission before receiving notice of results from a sample collection which could establish that an anti-doping violation occurred may result in reduction of the period of ineligibility by up to a half of the expected time
    • The window in which an Athlete accumulates 3 Whereabouts findings (missed tests or filing failures) which trigger an anti-doping rule violation is reduced from 18 months to 12 months
    • Sanctions for 3 Whereabouts finding of missed tests or filing failures (the 3 can be a mixture of missed tests and filing failures or 3 of either missed tests or filing failures) are increased to 2 years
  2. Inclusion of Athlete Support Personnel to better reach those who are involved in doping:
    Athlete Support Personnel are defined as:
    Coach, trainer, manager, agent, team staff, official, parent or any other person working with, treating or assisting an athlete participating in or preparing for Sports Competition.
    • Member Nations are required to have any Athlete Support Personnel (e.g. coaches, managers, medical staff) all sign-off their agreement to the WSF Ant-Doping Rules and the results management authority of the relevant Anti-Doping Organisation in order to register to participate in a WSF event
    • WSF and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) are required to automatically investigate Athlete Support Personnel in the case of any anti-doping violation by a minor or, any Athlete Support Personnel who has provided support to more than one athlete found to have committed an anti-doping violation (Note: Minors are under 18. There have been minors with an ant-doping violation in a WSF event but previously Support Personnel were not investigated)
    • It is an anti-doping violation for an Athlete to associate in a professional or sport-related capacity with any Athlete Support Personnel who are currently Ineligible (WSF has examples of athletes who continue to be coached by individuals who have an anti-doping violation – in future, if that occurred, the athlete will be sanctioned)
  3. Consideration of the Principles of Proportionality and Human Rights:
    • Mandatory public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations need not occur until after the final appellate decision. Previously required after the hearing
  4. Support of the increasing importance of investigations and the use of intelligence in the fight against doping:
    • The statute of limitations has been extended to 10 years from the 8 year statute in the current rules
    • The roles and responsibilities of WSF, Member Nations, Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel have been expanded to require cooperation with any Anti-Doping Organisation investigating anti-doping violations
  5. Emphasis on the concept of smart test distribution planning and smart menus for Sample analysis:
    • Currently, testing is general and done mainly on urine, there is no focus on substances that may be of particular benefit to performance in a specific sport. During 2014, all Olympic and Olympic Recognised sports (squash being one) had a physiological-based Risk Assessment done. A WADA Technical Document was developed which provides WSF the scoring evaluation of risk and the proportion of specific tests to be undertaken as part of WSF’s test distribution plan (i.e. the testing done in and out-of competition). The specific tests are geared to focus on the substances potentially of benefit to an Athlete to enhance performance, based on the physiological Risk Assessment. Both blood and urine testing will be required under the new rules
    • Squash has a risk assessment compatible with the known high aerobic and anaerobic demands of the sport. This means that anti-doping testing, effective 1 January 2015, will involve both the current urine analysis for a spectrum of substances as well as testing for risk specific substances in both urine and blood which, previously, were not included.
  6. Added clarity and equality in balancing the interests of International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs):
    • IFs control Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) and NADOs control TUEs for National Athletes. Currently, there is no mutual recognition, so an athlete may need to apply for TUEs to both the IF and NADO. Under the new Anti-Doping Rules, each organization must recognize a TUE granted by the other if it complies with the International Standard for TUEs
    • Results Management authority rests with the Anti-Doping Organisation that initiated testing
    • The WSF defines an International level athlete as an Athlete participating in WSF World Championships and/or who participate in the main draw of PSA World Series and International 70 tournaments and, WSA World series and Gold events who have a WSF Squash Player Identification Number (SPIN) registration
  7. Incorporation of WSF Anti-Doping Rules:
    • All Member Nations, PSA and WSA must comply with the WSF Rules
    • All Member Nations, PSA and WSA shall establish rules requiring all Athletes and each Athlete Support Personnel who participate in a competition or activity organized by a Member Nation, PSA, WSA or squash major event organizer to be bound by these rules and to submit to the results management authority of the Anti-Doping Organisation responsible as a condition of such participation
    • All Member Nations, PSA and WSA shall report any information suggesting or relating to an anti-doping rule violation to the WSF, the Athlete’s Member Nation and NADO and shall cooperate with Investigations conducted by any Anti-Doping Organisation with authority to conduct the investigation
    • All Member nations, PSA, WSA shall have disciplinary rules in place to prevent Athlete Support Personnel who are using Prohibited Substances without valid justification from providing support to Athletes under the jurisdiction of WSF or his/her Member Nation
  8. Athlete responsibilities:
    • In the context of anti-doping, Athletes are responsible for what they ingest and use. Not knowing what is in a product, or that he/she did not know a substance is prohibited is not an acceptable excuse for an antidoping violation
    • Athletes should inform medical personnel of their obligation not to use Prohibited Substances and take responsibility to make sure that any medical treatment received does not violate the anti-doping rules
    • Athletes should be prepared to inform WSF or a NADO of any knowledge of doping activities by other Athletes or by Athlete Support Personnel
    • Athletes should be available for Sample collection (urine and/or blood)
    • Failure by any Athlete to cooperate in full with Anti-Doping Organisations investigating anti-doping rule violations may result in a charge of misconduct under the WSF disciplinary rules
  9. Athlete Support Personnel responsibilities:
    • To be knowledgeable of an comply with the WSF anti-doping rules
    • To cooperate with the Athlete testing programme
    • To use their influence on Athlete values and behaviour to foster anti-doping attitudes
    • disclose to his/her NADO and WSF any anti-doping rule violation decision by a non-Signatory within the previous 10 years
    • To cooperate with Anti-Doping Organisations investigating anti-doping violations. Failure to cooperate may result in a charge of misconduct under the WSFs disciplinary rules
    • Athlete Support Personnel shall not use or possess Prohibited Substances without valid justification. Use or possession without valid justification may result in a charge of misconduct under the WSFs disciplinary rules
  10. Education:
    • Education is a focus of the new Code
    • WSF is required to conduct anti-doping education in coordination with applicable NADOs
    • Member Nations, PSA and WSA are required to conduct anti-doping education in coordination with their NADO
  11. Clarity and brevity:
    • Some clarification has occurred. Many sections have changed wording to be clearer and shorter
    • The document still remains complex with wording difficult to interpret in many articles
    • The addition of examples for the Application of Sanctions (Article 10) is helpful
    • The section on Definitions is expanded and clearer
Dr Anne Smith
Director WSF Anti-Doping Commission
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