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New World Anti-Doping Code

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24 December 2008


Article by UKA Anti-Doping Manager Dave Herbert as featured in Official Line column in Athletics Weekly



New Years Day 2009 will not only be a time for new resolutions (and perhaps a hangover or two!) but will also mark a further step forward towards Anti Doping harmonisation across all sports, and internationally. In short, on 1 January 2009 the 2nd World Anti Doping Code comes in to force.


The first 2003 Code was a landmark moment for the fight against doping in sport as it offered an international Code  to be used by International Federations (such as the IAAF or the IPC), National Anti Doping Organisations (UK Sport) and governments alike. Never before had such a document existed.


Yet the 2009 Code contains  some significant amendments. The full Code and Standards can be found on the WADA website www.wada-ama.org and the Code will be reflected in new IAAF and UKA Rules which will soon be posted  on the respective websites.


So what do these changes mean for athletes and for our sport?


The IAAF has historically been on the frontline of testing in athletics. UKA has also worked with UK Sport to develop one of the most extensive and effective testing programmes not just in athletics, but in the whole of sport.


Before now, different countries and different sports have had  significant differences in how out of competition testing is conducted.


Thankfully, for athletes everywhere a level playing field is starting to develop - from 1 January 2009 there will be mandatory regulations for the collection of samples out of competition regardless of nation or sport. Athletes selected for their national testing pools will need to provide a 60 minute slot, 365 days a year where a Doping Control Officer (DCO) can make contact with them to collect a test, with no prior notice. Athletes will not receive a telephone call to advise them of the test, the DCO will arrive unannounced at the time and location nominated by the athlete, notify the athlete and collect a sample.


Samples can be collected from athletes at any time however and to facilitate this athletes in the testing pool will be required to provide, in addition to their 60-minute slots, full details of their regular place of residence, details of their competitions and details of their regular activities i.e. regular training sessions.


A further welcome change from 1 January 2009 is to the definition of the missed test rule violation. From 1 January 2009 any athlete with 3 missed tests in an 18- monthperiod(previously 5 years under IAAF rules)will be subject to disciplinary action.


As the Anti Doping Manager at UK Athletics I am proud of our efforts towards clean sport. And so for our well drilled athletes – more of the same please and remember to  keep your whereabouts up-to-date over the busy Christmas and New Year period!


I do however realise that come January 1 there will be others (sports and nations) who will find this new regime something of a culture shock.


Remember also that there is a new Prohibited List is issued each January, and 2009 will be no exception. The 2009 Prohibited List is already available at www.wada-ama.org and changes will also be reflected in UK Sport’s Drug Information Database www.didglobal.com where you can check your registered medications to ensure that the use of these medications does not contravene the Anti Doping rules.


Since 2003 WADA made massive steps to help protect the integrity of sport however the 2009 Code and its Standards represent an important further step towards anti-doping harmonisation across the world.