Inside the IOF: New Anti-Doping Rules

The new IOF Anti-Doping Rules come into force on 1 January 2021. IOF Anti-Doping Officer Kirsty McIntyre describes the process of updating them.

What was the process like?

Following the approval of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland, in November 2019, WADA created model rules for all International Federations. Based on these, we could develop our own Code compliant Anti-Doping Rules. WADA supported us with feedback on our drafts, until they were deemed in line with the WADC and approved.

Were there any challenges?

The process was challenging in the same way that I think 2020 has been challenging for everyone. Being on furlough and working from home has been a struggle, and it made the task of updating the rules that much harder as it was very time consuming. Thankfully, WADA were very supportive, and the importance of the task kept me motivated.

Why the change?

WADA are at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport. It’s important that they use their own and their shareholders’ extensive experience to keep up with the changing landscape of doping in sport. The framework for this work is the WADC, and it must be able to tackle new challenges in a nuanced way. The Code has been updated several times since its first version was approved in 2003. WADA started the process of this latest update back in 2017 and have conducted an extensive review and consultation. One of the most fundamental parts of the Anti-Doping system as it is today is that everyone in sport subscribes to the same set of rules. Therefore, the adoption of a new World Anti-Doping Code necessitates an update of the Anti-Doping Rules of every International Federation, National Anti-Doping Organisation, and other relevant stakeholders of the WADC.

What now?

The implementation of the new Rules and Code is an ongoing process, where we make sure our practices are up to date. Along with the Code, there are seven International Standards (not counting the Prohibited List) which we must follow. It’s also important that our Members are aware of the new Anti-Doping Rules. I think this Athlete’s Guide to significant changes in the 2021 Code gives a really good picture of what’s new so I hope everyone can make the time to read it.