World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president, John Fahey, visited Kenya last year following reports from a German television station that there was widespread doping amongst Kenyan Athletes. Just a few weeks ago track legendMoses Kiptanui, a former 3000m steeplechase world record holder made similar remarks in the media. Some Kenyan Athletes have been suspended from competition after failing doping tests one of whom is Mathew Kisorio, a long distance runner, who failed a doping test during National Championships.
I think part of the reason Athletes fail doping tests is largely due to ignorance. Yet, ignorance is not a defense in law. Athletes must be aware of everything they ingest- whether as part of their nutrition or medication because the use of certain substances during and out-of competition is prohibited. There may be a chance that some Athletes are innocently taking prohibited substances which is why it is important for Athletes, managers, trainers, doctors or any other person involved in an Athlete’s career to know the rules, regulations and procedures involved in doping control.
Anti-Doping Regulations should be read, understood and followed by everybody who has an involvement with doping control in Sports. WADA is the worldwide governing body which instructs all international sporting federations on the standards of anti-doping. Every international sports federation must subscribe to the WADA Anti-doping Code and must come up with rules and regulations specific to their respective sports disciplines. These anti-doping rules and regulations are then adopted by the sporting affiliates at the regional and national levels.
Very briefly; WADA was first established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to check doping violations for Olympic disciplines. Over time it became necessary for doping regulations to be set for all sports, and not just Olympic sports. From this vain, WADA became an international body independent of the IOC dealing with doping control worldwide. In Kenya, however, we have the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) which was established under the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).KADA is therefore only responsible for doping control of sports disciplines under NOCK, and is not recognised as Kenya’s National Anti-Doping Organization, at least not yet. There are plans to turn KADA into an independent organization to cater for all sports within Kenya.
All national sports organizations/ affiliates follow and implement their International Federation’s regulations on anti-doping: Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) follows International Rugby Board (IRB), Football Kenya Federation (FKF) follows the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Athletics Kenya (AK) follows the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and so forth.
In terms of Athletics, AK has its own Doping Control and disciplinary mechanisms for investigating doping claims and sanctioning individuals and teams who are found to be culpable. AK carries out the tests, if an Athlete fails, he/she is informed and is allowed to have a hearing to raise a defence for his/her case. Thereafter a further test is carried out on a sample B of the sample that was collected from the Athlete on testing day. If the sample B turns out positive for prohibited substances then sanctions are applied.
The IAAF Doping Control
The IAAF came up with IAAF Anti-Doping Rules (IAAF Rules 30-47) and with the IAAF Anti-Doping Regulations. Both the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules and the Anti-Doping Regulations are available for viewing on the IAAF website. By familiarising themselves with these Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations, Athletes will have a better understanding of the procedures involved.
No Advance Notice Out-of-Competition Testing is at the core of effective Doping Control. No Advance Notice is a Doping Control which takes place with no advance warning to the Athlete and where the Athlete is continuously chaperoned/observed from the moment of notification through to Sample provision.
The IAAF plans for Testing of Athletes both In and Out-of-Competition; In-competition means the period commencing twelve (12) hours before an Event in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate through to the end of such Event and Out-of-Competition means any period which is not In-Competition. The IAAF also uses Target Testing or a Registered Testing Pool.
Target Testing means specific Athletes or groups of Athletes are selected on a non-random basis for Testing at a specified time.
The factors that will be relevant to determining who should be made the subject of Target Testing include (without limitation) some or all of the following factors:
(a) abnormal biological parameters (blood parameters, steroid profiles etc);
(c) withdrawal or absence from expected competition;
(d) going into or coming out of retirement;
(e) behaviour indicating doping;
(f) sudden major improvements in performance;
(g) repeated failure to provide Whereabouts Filings;
(h) Whereabouts Filings that may indicate a potential increase in the risk of doping, including moving to a remote location;
(i) Athlete performance history;
(j) Athlete age, e.g., approaching retirement, move from junior to senior level;
(k) Athlete test history;
(l) Athlete reinstatement after a period of Ineligibility;
(m) financial incentives for improved performance such as prize money or sponsorship opportunities;
(n) Athlete association with a third party
Registered Testing Pool is the group of Athletes established by the IAAF who are subject to both In-Competition and Out-of-Competition Testing programme.
The IAAF shall consider Athletes for inclusion in the Registered Testing Pool based upon the following criteria:
(a) the top-performing Athletes according to the official IAAF Top Performance Lists in Athletics;
(b) Athletes who are serving periods of Ineligibility;
(c) Athletes who retired at a time when they were in the Registered Testing Pool and who wish to return from that period of retirement to active participation in the sport; and
(d) Athletes whom it wishes to target for Testing.
The above criteria are not exhaustive and the IAAF may at its sole discretion include any Athlete in the Registered Testing Pool whom it considers to be appropriate.
Without accurate information as to an Athlete’s whereabouts, such Testing can be inefficient and often impossible. Registered Testing Pool of Athletes are required to comply with the Athlete Whereabouts requirements.
An Athlete in the Registered Testing Pool is required to make a quarterlyWhereabouts Filing that provides accurate and complete information about the Athlete’s whereabouts during the forthcoming quarter, including identifying where he will be living, training and competing during that quarter, so that he can be located for Testing at any time during that quarter. A failure to do so amounts to a Filing Failure for the purposes of IAAF Rule 32.2(d).
Any Athlete who provides fraudulent information in his Whereabouts Filing, whether in relation to his location during the specified daily 60-minute time slot, or in relation to his whereabouts outside that time slot, or otherwise, thereby commits an anti-doping rule violation under Rule 32.2(c) (evading Sample collection) and/or Rule 32.2(e) (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper with Doping Control).
A failure by the Athlete to be available for Testing at the location and time specified in the 60-minute time slot identified in his Whereabouts Filing for the day in question is a Missed Test and is also considered a Whereabouts Failure and may lead to sanctions.
In accordance with IAAF Rule 260, Sample collection shall also be conducted on any Athlete who has broken or equalled a World Record (namely, a World Record, World Junior Record or World Indoor Record). The decision to select the Athlete for Testing shall be disclosed only to those who need to know in order to ensure that the Athlete can be notified and tested on a No Advance Notice basis. The IAAF conducts blood tests and urine tests.
The IAAF’s Blood Testing Programme is focussed in the following two areas:
(a) Blood Sampling for the detection of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods; and
(b) Blood Sample screening for the measurement of individual blood variables within the framework of the Athlete Biological Passport (a biological passport is a collection of all relevant data unique to an individual Athlete that may include relevant information that may help in the evaluation of Markers- markers are compounds, group of compounds or biological parameter(s) that indicate the use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method).
No blood Sample shall be taken from an Athlete unless the Athlete has consented to blood Testing. If an Athlete refuses to give his consent, a blood Sample shall not be taken from him. Such a failure shall however be regarded as a failure or refusal to submit to Sample collection after notification under IAAF Rule 32.2(c) or otherwise as a Failure to Comply. In the event of a failure or refusal to submit to Sample collection or a Failure to Comply, the Athlete may nevertheless be required to provide a urine Sample which shall be analysed for the full range of Prohibited Substances.
Athletes with a documented medical condition requiring the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method must obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
TUE applications will be granted by the IAAF TUE Sub-Committee in strict accordance with the following criteria:
(a) that the Athlete would experience a significant impairment to his health if the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method was to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.
(b) that the Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
(c) that it is possible without undue difficulty to monitor or control the dose, frequency, method of administration or other aspect of the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method that may otherwise permit an enhancement of performance other than a return to a state of normal health.
(d) that there is no reasonable Therapeutic alternative to the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.
(e) that the necessity for the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Method is not a consequence, either wholly or in part, of the prior Use, without a TUE, of any substance or method which was prohibited at the time of Use.
(f) in no circumstances, shall a TUE be granted to an Athlete if the IAAF considers that he would thereby gain a competitive advantage over another Athlete.
Where it is asserted that an anti-doping rule violation has been committed under these Anti-Doping Rules, disciplinary procedures shall take place in the following three stages:
(a) provisional suspension; pending resolution of the Athlete’s case by his National Federation.
(b) hearing; Every Athlete shall have the right to request a hearing before the relevant tribunal of his National Federation before any sanction is determined in accordance with these Anti-Doping Rules.
(c) sanction or exoneration; sanction includes disqualification from event or disqualification of results/ declaration of ineligibility (cannot participate in competitions)