Friday, May 26, 2006

World Cup 2006 in Germany - The Law on Doping in Sports

The World Cup of Soccer, perhaps the world's greatest sporting extravaganza with the exception of the Summer Olympic Games, is taking place this June in Germany. And where there's international sports, there's the use of performance-enhancing drugs, or "doping".

In fact, because of past doping scandals, international soccer was coming very close to being excluded from the Olympics, but at the last minute, FIFA, the international soccer federation which organizes the World Cup every 4 years, came to an agreement with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, on how to handle suspicions of doping behaviour by players or team officials.

Anyway, the official FIFA website has a section on doping with links to FIFA anti-doping documents and regulations: All team physicians signed a declaration stating their unrestricted support of the FIFA strategy of comprehensive pre-assessment and doping controls aiming at improved care and prevention for the top class athletes participating in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. All athletes participating will be meticulously questioned with regard to their personal and family history. They will undergo a comprehensive physical examination including an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram as needed.

So what laws and regulations apply to sports and doping?

  • Research Guide on International Sports Law: this online guide is written by a Reference Librarian at Georgetown University in Washington. It looks at the key institutions governing international sports and provides information and links to federations governing individual sports at an international level, bodies associated with the Olympic Games and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. There are sections on doping
  • World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): this agency was set up in 1999 by the International Olympic Committee which claims it is working towards "eradicating the improper use of drugs in sport". WADA has adopted the first World Anti-Doping Code intended to harmonize rules and regulations regarding doping across all countries and sports. There is information about scientific research, the legal aspects of doping (strict liability principle, testing procedures, hearings, commencement of the ineligibility period for athletes caught, disqualification provisions concerning teams, etc.), a list of prohibited substances, testing statistics and the medical aspects of the main groups of drugs involved (diuretics, beta blockers, stimulants and anabolic agents)
  • Tribunal Arbitral du Sport/Court of Arbitration for Sport: the website includes the rules and procedures, case law, statistics and other publications from the "institution independent of any sports organization which provides for services in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation"
  • Selected Case Law Rendered Under the World Anti-Doping Code: written by two top members of the Legal Affairs department of WADA, this summary of the major case law focuses on athletes’ duty of diligence in their relationship with their medical personnel; the problem of specified substances and the necessity that athletes establish there was no intention to enhance their performance; the issue of proportionality
  • UNESCO - International Convention against Doping in Sport 2005: until now, many governments could not be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code. The International Convention now enables them to align their domestic legislation with the Code. Under UNESCO procedures for this Convention, thirty countries must ratify it in order for it to become effective. Some 185 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, the political document through which governments show their intention to implement the World Anti-Doping Code through ratification of the UNESCO Convention. 
  • Council of Europe - Sports Resources: this page provides links to national anti-doping agencies and to major legal reference texts
  • Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport: this "independent, national, non-profit organization committed to the principles of drug-free sport, equity, fair play, safety and non-violence" is the Canadian body responsible for administering Canada's Anti-Doping Program which includes laws and regulations, education programs and testing procedures
  • Bibliography on Sports Law: from the Peace Palace Library in The Hague
  • Resource Guide to Sport and the Law: contains a section on doping (from the Higher Academy Network for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, Oxford, UK)
  • People can also go to periodical databases such as LegalTrac and type in "doping" - there are many major articles in journals such as Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal, Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Forensic Science International, University of New South Wales Law Journal, Entertainment and Sports Law Journal and others
  • In Canada, one major bibliography is Richard W. Stark ... [et al.] The Drug file: a comprehensive bibliography on drugs and doping in sport (Gloucester, Ont.: Sport Information Resource Centre, 1991). And of course, there was the 1990 Commission of inquiry into the use of drugs and banned practices intended to increase athletic performance (Dubin inquiry)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:32 pm


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