The purpose of the IOF Anti-Doping Programme is to protect the athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport.
The principles and values associated with clean sport
The IOF values are sustainable, inclusive and ethical. Ethical values naturally encompass clean sport. Aspects of clean sport include fairness, respect, honesty, determination and integrity.
WADA’s Anti-Doping and Learning Platform (ADEL) offers access to all topics related to clean sport and Anti-Doping. It offers courses for athletes, coaches, doctors, administrators and anyone interested in learning more about anti-doping and protecting the values of clean sport.
The IOF recommends regularly visiting the International Testing Agency’s Athlete Hub for the latest news, articles and informational resources. The Resources section is also helpful if you are looking for a specific document.
All members of the IOF community are invited to take part in the ITA webinar series. Each month, Anti-Doping experts or athlete guests discuss key Anti-Doping topics relevant to athletes and Athlete Support Personnel. All webinars are free and accessible to any interested member of the global sport community. The webinars are delivered in English with simultaneous translation to Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish.
Registration for each webinar opens 2-3 weeks prior to the live session on the ITA Athlete Hub and on the ITA social media channels. Previous webinars can also be viewed on the Athlete Hub.
REVEAL is the ITA’s platform for reporting what you have seen, heard or experienced in a completely anonymous and secure manner, while actively supporting the investigation of Anti-Doping rule violations or criminal behaviour.
Rights and Responsibilities
Athletes, Athlete Support Personnel and other groups 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 these for each stakeholder in the Anti-Doping system.
It is especially important that athletes and Athlete Support Personnel know and understand Code Art. 21 (Additional Roles and Responsibilities of Athletes and Other Persons), particularly Art. 21.1 (Roles and Responsibilities of Athletes), Art. 21.2 (Roles and Responsibilities of Athlete Support Personnel) and Art. 21.3 (Roles and Responsibilities of Other Persons Subject to the Code).
This section presents a summary of the key athlete rights. It is important that both athletes and Athlete Support Personnel know and understand these.
Ensuring that athletes are aware of their rights and these are respected is vital to the success of clean sport. Athlete rights exist throughout the Code and International Standards and they include:
- Equality of opportunity
- Equitable and Fair Testing programs
- Medical treatment and protection of health rights
- Right to justice
- Right to accountability
- Whistleblower rights
- Right to education
- Right to data protection
- Rights to compensation
- Protected Persons Rights
- Rights during a Sample Collection Session
- Right to B sample analysis
- Other rights and freedoms not affected
- Application and standing
The Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act sets out these rights and responsibilities. For more information, you can refer directly to the document here: Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act.
It is equally important that athletes are aware of their Anti-Doping responsibilities. Athlete Support Personnel should also familiarise themselves with these in order to be able to support their athletes. These include:
- 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 disciplined in relation to doping (see WADA’s Prohibited Association List)
Further details of these roles and responsibilities can be found in Code Art. 21.1.
Athletes also have specific rights and responsibilities during the Doping Control Process. Please refer to this section below for more information on this.
Rights and Responsibilities of Athlete Support Personnel and other groups
Like athletes, Athlete Support Personnel and others under the jurisdiction of the IOF also have rights and responsibilities as per the Code. These include:
- Being knowledgeable of Anti-Doping policies and rules which are applicable to you or the athlete(s) you support
- Using your influence on athlete values and behaviours to foster Anti-Doping attitudes
- Complying with all Anti-Doping policies and rules which are applicable to you and the athlete(s) you support
- Cooperating with the athlete testing program
- Disclosing to the IOF and their NADO whether you have committed any Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) within the previous ten years
- Cooperating with anti-doping organisations investigating ADRVs
Further details of these roles and responsibilities can be found in Code Art. 21.2 and 21.3.
The Principle of Strict Liability
In Anti-Doping, the principle of Strict Liability applies – if it is in the athlete’s body, the athlete is responsible for it.
This means that every athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in their urine and/or blood sample collected during doping control, regardless of whether the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or method. Therefore, it is vital that athletes and Athlete Support Personnel know the rules and understand their responsibilities under the Code.
Athletes must know and understand the Prohibited List and with the risks associated with supplement use. More information on the Prohibited List, medications and supplements is available in the Prohibited List, Medications & Supplements section (insert link to this section of the website).
Anti-Doping Rule Violations
Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) in line with Code Art. 2 (Anti-Doping Rule Violations):
- Presence of a prohibited substance in an Athlete’s sample
- Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or method
- Refusal to submit to sample collection after being notified
- Failure to file Athlete Whereabouts information & missed tests
- Tampering with any part of the doping control process
- Possession of a prohibited substance or method
- Trafficking a prohibited substance or method
- Administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to an Athlete
- Complicity in an ADRV
- Prohibited association with sanctioned Athlete Support Personnel
- Discourage or Retaliate other Persons from reporting relevant Anti-Doping information to the authorities.
The first four Anti-Doping Rule Violations apply only to athletes since they refer to the obligation not to take banned substances and the obligation to submit to testing.
The remaining seven Anti-Doping Rules apply to both the athletes and the Athlete Support Personnel including coaches, medical professionals, or anyone else working with the athlete or involved in Anti-Doping activities. National and International Federation administrators, officials and sample collection staff may also be liable for their conduct under the World Anti-Doping Code.
Substances and Methods on the Prohibited List
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) produces a list of substances and methods that are banned in sport in the form of the Prohibited List. It is updated at least annually, with the new list taking effect on January 1 of each year.
It is important that athletes and Athlete Support Personnel are familiar with the Prohibited List and know how to check whether medications are prohibited in sport.
A substance or method can be added to the Prohibited List if it meets at least two of the following three criteria:
- It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance.
- Use of the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete.
- Use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.
The Prohibited List includes substances and methods that are categorised into three groups:
- Substances and methods prohibited at all times
- Substances and methods prohibited in-competition
- Substances prohibited in particular sports
According to the Code, the in-competition is the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a Competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of such Competition and the Sample collection process related to such Competition.
The in-competition period is very important to understand when it relates to substances that are prohibited in-competition. When a substance is prohibited in-competition, it must leave the athlete’s system by the time the said competition begins. It does not mean that the athlete must stop taking the substance by the time the in-competition period begins. Different substances take different amounts of time to leave the system – athletes must be extremely careful to make sure that they are not caught with a positive test as a result of taking a substance prohibited in-competition.
We recommend using Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) to check all medications. Global DRO provides athletes and Athlete Support Personnel with information about the prohibited status of specific medications based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help athletes and Athlete Support Personnel navigate the Prohibited List and to be able to select medications that are safe to take within the context of sport:
- Only the medical ingredient names are listed on the Prohibited List – not the brand names
- Always check dosage restrictions, route administration of the medicine and any limitations for the use of the drug based on gender
- Check both over-the-counter and prescription medications before using them
- Inform your medical professional that you are an athlete and subject to anti-doping regulations
- Different substances take different amounts of time to leave your system – take that into account when taking substances prohibited in-competition
- Be careful when substituting one brand of medication for another – they may contain different medical ingredients
- Be careful when travelling – the same brand of a medication may contain different medical ingredients abroad
- Regularly check for updates to the Prohibited List
Risks of Supplements
Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. A number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, poor labelling or contamination of dietary supplements, and there is no guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances.
Risks of supplements include:
- Manufacturing standards, which are often less strict compared with medicines. These lower standards often lead to supplement contamination with an undeclared prohibited substance;
- Fake or low-quality products which may contain prohibited substances – and be harmful to health;
- Mislabelling of supplements with ingredients wrongly listed and prohibited substances not identified on the product label;
- Misleading and false claims that a particular supplement is endorsed by Anti-Doping Organisations or that it is “safe for athletes”. Anti-Doping Organisations do not certify supplements.
All athletes should do a risk-benefit assessment if they are considering the use supplements. The first step of such an assessment is to consider whether a “food-first” approach meets the athlete’s needs. Whenever possible, such assessment should be done with a support of a certified nutritionist or other qualified professional who is familiar with the global and IOF Anti-Doping rules.
If, after careful consideration, an athlete chooses to use supplements, they must take the necessary steps to minimise the risks. This includes:
- Thorough research on the type and dose of the supplement, preferably with the advice of a certified nutritionist or other qualified professional who is familiar with the global and IOF Anti-Doping rules.
- Selecting only those supplements that have been batch-tested by an independent company. Companies that batch-test supplements include Informed Sport, Certified for Sport or Kölner Liste.
Remember, no supplement is 100% risk-free but athletes and Athlete Support Personnel can take certain steps to minimise these risks.
For more information, please watch this ITA webinar on nutritional supplements.
Introduction to Doping Control
The aim of testing is to detect and deter doping amongst athletes and to protect clean athletes. Any athlete under the testing jurisdiction of the IOF may be tested at any time, with no advance notice, in- or out-of-competition, and be required to provide a urine or a blood sample.
Athletes can be tested by the IOF, NADOs or Major Event Organisers. The IOF has delegated all Anti-Doping testing programs to the International Testing Agency (ITA). For more information on the IOF’s collaboration with the ITA, please visit the ITA website.
What to expect during the Doping Control Process
The doping control process is clearly defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This means that no matter where and when an athlete is tested, the process should remain the same.
The key steps of the doping control process are listed out in this Doping Control resource prepared by the International Testing Agency (also available in Arabic (عربى), Chinese (中文), French (français), German (deutsche), Italian (italiano), Japanese (日本語), Korean (한국어), Portuguese (português), Russian (русский) and Spanish (español).
To learn more about the doping control process, please watch this ITA webinar on urine and blood sample collection.
Rights & Responsibilities during Sample Collection
Athletes have a number of rights and responsibilities during sample collection.
Athlete rights during sample collection are to:
- Have a representative accompany them during the process
- Request an interpreter, if one is available
- Ask for Chaperone’s/Doping Control Officer’s identification
- Ask any questions
- Request a delay for a valid reason (e.g., attending a victory ceremony, receiving necessary medical attention, warming down or finishing a training session)
- Request special assistance or modifications to the process
- Record any comments or concerns on the Doping Control Form
Athlete responsibilities during sample collection are to:
- Report for testing immediately if selected
- Show valid identification (usually a government-issued ID)
- Remain in direct sight of the Doping Control Officer or Chaperone
- Comply with the collection procedure
Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
The Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was introduced in 2009 and is a pillar method in the detection of doping. It is an individual electronic profile that monitors selected athlete biological variables that indirectly reveal the effects of doping. ABP is integrated directly into ADAMS.
If you wish to learn more about ABP, you can watch this ITA webinar recording.
Requirements of the Registered Testing Pool
The Registered Testing Pool (RTP) is the pool of highest-priority athletes established separately at the international level by the IOF and at the national level by National Anti-Doping Organisations.
Athletes included in the IOF RTP are subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition testing as part of the IOF’s test distribution plan and are therefore required to provide Whereabouts information as provided in Code Art. 5.5 (Athletes Whereabouts Information) and the International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
The IOF updates the composition of the RTP on a regular basis. Athletes are included in the RTP based on a set of criteria and are notified by the International Testing Agency upon inclusion.
Inclusion in the RTP is done via an Inclusion Letter – this document contains all the key information, deadlines and athlete’s responsibilities as it relates to athletes’ RTP obligations.
RTP Athletes must regularly provide whereabouts and contact information in ADAMS, WADA’s online Anti-Doping administration and management system. This information helps Anti-Doping Organisations with testing jurisdiction over the athlete to plan out-of-competition testing.
The Whereabouts requirements include but are not limited to:
- An up-to-date mailing address and phone number
- One daily specific 60-minute time slot between 5am and 11pm when the athlete is available and accessible for testing
- Athlete’s overnight accommodation for each day
- Information about training and regular activities that are part of the athlete’s regular routine (training at the gym, regular physio sessions, school, work, etc.)
- Competition, training and travel schedule
- Any additional relevant information that helps the Doping Control Officer locate the athlete (e.g., buzzer number or directions to a remote location)
Submitting late, inaccurate, or incomplete whereabouts information may result in a Filing Failure.
An athlete may receive a Missed Test if they are not available for testing during the 60-minute timeslot indicated in ADAMS. Three Whereabouts Failures (any combination of a Filing Failure and a Missed Test) occurring within a 12-month period will lead to an Anti-Doping Rule Violation and a potential two-year ban from sport.
It is important to note that under the Principle of Strict Liability, the athlete remains responsible for the information submitted, even if they have delegated this task to a member of their support team.
Below are some helpful whereabouts tips for athletes:
- Set a calendar reminder of the key dates/deadlines to submit quarterly Whereabouts information
- Set an alarm for the start of the 60-minute time slot
- Be as specific as possible when submitting your Whereabouts information
- When in doubt, ask for help via the ITA or the ADAMS Help Centre
- Make use of the Athlete Central app to submit your Whereabouts information on a mobile device
Retirement and Return to Competition
All international level athletes who decide to retire from competition must inform the IOF. For RTP Athletes, as soon as the retirement is officially confirmed to the IOF, the athlete will be immediately withdrawn from the RTP.
If the athlete then wishes to return to competition, this athlete cannot compete in international or national events until they have given six months prior written notice to the IOF (Code Art. 5.6: Retired Athletes Returning to Competition).
Consequences of Doping
There are many risks associated with doping. From negative effects on mental and physical health, to loss of sponsorship or prize money, to permanent damage to an athlete’s image and relationships, it is important to understand and consider all consequences of doping. Below is a list of some of the common consequences of not competing clean.
In addition to the physical aspects, scientific research has shown that there is a considerable correlation between the use of PEDs and mental health issues. Most commonly, it was found that the use of doping substances can trigger anxiety, obsessive disorders or psychosis.
Doping has a significant negative impact on the person’s private life and social interactions as people may feel that they no longer want to be connected to someone who has damaged the reputation of a sport and displayed poor judgement.
A ban resulting from an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will have a significant financial impact on the individual. For athletes, this includes, but is not limited to, the requirement to return prize money or a financial sanction. Other negative consequences of doping include termination of contracts and sponsorship deals, loss of government funding and other forms of financial support.
An Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will have an impact on an athlete’s ability to train and compete. For coaches and other Athlete Support Personnel, a ban may mean that they are no longer able to work with athletes. A sanction resulting from an ADRV can range from a warning to a lifetime ban from all sport.
It is also important to note that individuals banned in the sport of orienteering will also be prohibited from playing, coaching or working with athletes in any other capacity in a different sport.
It is also a violation of the Code to work with Athlete Support Personnel who have been sanctioned by an ADO, as well as any coaches, trainers, physicians or other Athlete Support Personnel who are ineligible on account of an ADRV, or those who have been criminally convicted or professionally disciplined in relation to doping.
A full list of sanctioned athletes and Athlete Support Personnel in the sport of orienteering can be found below in accordance with Code Art. 14.3 (Public Disclosure).
Table of Sanctions
|Date of decision||Name||Role (e.g., Athlete/ coach)||Rule violation||Substance||Sanction||Ban commenced||Ban ends||Full decision (link to case)|
Note: if the athlete or other person is a minor, no publication is required.
A full list of all Athlete Support Personnel who are currently suspended from working with athletes or other persons can be found on WADA’s Prohibited Association List.
Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)
What is TUE? Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete is required to use to treat an illness or condition is prohibited as per the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List a TUE may give that athlete the authorization to use that substance or method while competing without invoking an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) and applicable sanction. Please see the complete TUE Q&A for more info.
All athletes in the IOF Registered Testing Pool, and all athletes taking part in IOF Major Events (in this context: World Cup, Senior World Championships, Junior World Championships, Senior Regional Championships, in any of the recognised disciplines) and needing any medication/treatment that is on the WADA Prohibited list, must apply for a TUE from the IOF. (Other athletes should apply to their National Anti-Doping Organisation.)
The IOF has delegated responsibility for all TUE applications to the International Testing Agency (ITA). This means that the ITA is now fully responsible for the TUE application process for all international-level athletes that fall under the IOF’s jurisdiction. Here you can download the TUE form. More information about how, when and where to apply for a TUE can be found on the ITA’s website.
Note: when submitting an TUE Application, all documentation must be submitted in English.
Recognition of National TUE
If an athlete already has a TUE granted by their National Anti-Doping Organisation for the substance or method in question, if that TUE meets the criteria set out in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions, then the International Federation must recognize it. For this purpose, the athlete must submit a request for recognition to the ITA to evaluate the TUE. Your request for recognition should be submitted to the ITA’s International Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (ITUEC) Submit in writing to [email protected] quoting your ADAMS TUE reference number.
If you have any questions regarding applying for a TUE, the recognition process, or any other question about TUEs, please contact: [email protected]
Downloads and useful information
WADA Checklists for TUE Applications
WADA Q&A on Therapeutic Use Exemptions
WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE)
WADA Guidelines for the 2021 International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE)
Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs
Information Notice on Use of Personal Information
IOF Anti-Doping Reports