Rights & Responsibilities

What do athletes and athlete support personnel need to know about anti-doping?

Athletes, their support personnel and others who are subject to anti-doping rules all have rights and responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). Part Three of the Code outlines all of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the anti-doping system.

Athletes’ Rights

“Every athlete has the right to clean sport!”

Ensuring that athletes are aware of their rights and that these rights are respected is vital to the success of clean sport. WADA’s Athlete Committee (now Athlete Council) drafted the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act (Act). This Act is made up of two parts. Part one sets out rights that are found in the Code and International Standards. Part two sets out recommended athlete rights that are not found in the Code or International Standards but are rights that athletes recommend that Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) adopt for best practice.

Athlete rights outlined in the Code include:

  • Equal opportunities in their pursuit of sport, free of participation by other athletes who dope;
  • Equitable and fair testing programs;
  • A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) application process;
  • To be heard, to have a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a fair, impartial and operationally independent hearing panel, with a timely reasoned decision specifically including an explanation of the reasons of the decision;
  • Right to appeal the hearing decision;
  • Any ADO that has jurisdiction over them will be accountable for its action and an athlete shall have the ability to report any compliance issue;
  • Ability to report Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) through an anonymous mechanism and not be subjected to threats or intimidation
  • Receiving anti-doping education;
  • Fair handling of their personal information by ADOs in accordance with the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (ISPPPI) and any local applicable law;
  • To pursue damages from another athlete whose actions have damaged that athlete by the commission of an ADRV;
  • During the sample collection process, right to:
    • See the identification of the Doping Control Officer (DCO);
    • Request additional information about the sample collection process, about the authority under which it will be carried out and on the type of sample collection;
    • Hydrate;
    • Be accompanied by a representative and, if available, an interpreter;
    • Request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons (International Standard for Testing and Investigations art. 5.4.4);
    • Request modifications for athletes with impairments (if applicable);
    • Be informed of their rights and responsibilities;
    • Receive a copy of the records of the process;
    • Have further protections for "protected persons” because of their age or lack of legal capacity;
    • Request and attend the B sample analysis (in the case of an Adverse Analytical Finding).

Athletes’ Responsibilities

Athletes’ rights to clean sport come with corresponding responsibilities, and athletes may be tested in- and out-of-competition, anytime, anywhere and with no advance notice.

Their clean sport responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Complying with the WBSC Anti-Doping Rules (in line with the World Anti-Doping Code);
  • Being available for sample collection (urine, blood or dried blood spot (DBS)), whether in-competition or out-of-competition;
  • Remaining within direct observation of the Doping Control Officer (DCO) or chaperone at all times from notification until the completion of the sample collection process;
  • Providing identification upon request during the sample collection process;
  • Ensuring that no prohibited substance enters their body and that no prohibited method is used on them;
  • Ensuring that any treatment is not prohibited according to the Prohibited List in force and checking this with the prescribing physicians, or directly with WBSC if necessary;
  • Applying to WBSC if no alternative permitted treatment is possible and a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required (see TUE application process from “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” section);
  • Reporting immediately for sample collection after being notified of being selected for doping control;
  • Ensuring the accuracy of the information entered on the Doping Control Form (DCF);
  • Cooperating with ADOs investigating ADRVs;
  • Not working with coaches, trainers, physicians or other athlete support personnel who are ineligible on account of an ADRV or who have been criminally convicted or professionally disciplined in relation to doping (see WADA’s Prohibited Association List).

Athlete Support Personnel Rights

Athlete support personnel and other persons also have rights and responsibilities under the Code. These include:

  • Right to a fair hearing, before an independent hearing panel;
  • Right to appeal the hearing decision;
  • Rights regarding data protection, according to the ISPPPI and any local applicable law.

Athlete Support Personnel Responsibilities

Athlete support personnel’s responsibilities under the Code include:

  • Using their influence on athlete values and behaviours to foster clean sport behaviours;
  • Knowing and complying with all applicable anti-doping policies and rules, including the WBSC  Anti-Doping Rules (in line with the Code) ;
  • Cooperating with the athlete doping control program;
  • Cooperating with ADOs investigating Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs);
  • Informing the relevant IF and/or NADO if they have committed an ADRV in the last 10 years;
  • Refraining from possessing a prohibited substance (or a prohibited method) *, administering any such substance or method to an athlete, trafficking, covering up an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) or other forms of complicity and associating with a person convicted of doping (prohibited association). These are ADRVs applicable to athlete support personnel under art. 2 of the World Anti-Doping Code and art. 2 of the WBSC Anti-Doping Rules.

* Unless the athlete support personnel can establish that the possession is consistent with a TUE granted to an athlete or other acceptable justification. Acceptable justification would include, for example, a team doctor carrying prohibited substances for dealing with acute and emergency situations.

WBSC Recommendation to Athlete Support Personnel

Here are some ways athlete support personnel can support their athletes in their education on clean sport: