Contributions to doping cases

One of the main legal activities involves the submission of arguments in doping cases. These arguments set out the position of the Doping Authority with regard to the relevant provisions in the Doping Regulations, the International Standards, the facts of the case, and the arguments stated by the athletes in their defence. Submitting arguments in this way gives the Doping Authority the opportunity to describe the legal framework for disciplinary committees, to discuss crucial provisions in the Doping Regulations and/or International Standards, and to respond to the defence arguments of the athlete in question (on the basis of case law from the CAS and elsewhere). The Doping Authority also answers a range of supplementary questions (from the disciplinary committees) and/or defence arguments (from the athletes).

WADA Appeal

WADA receives the results from the doping controls conducted throughout the world by all WADA-accredited laboratories on an anonymous basis. This allows WADA to submit enquiries to NADOs and international federations about the results of doping cases. In practice, this means that WADA asks the Doping Authority to state whether a sanction has been imposed and, if so, what that sanction is, when doping controls have produced positive results. WADA then decides whether more information is required to determine whether the Code has been applied and observed correctly in the case in question. In two cases, this review led WADA to submit an appeal in two cases in 2012. In one case, the appeal was submitted to the appeals committee of the IST. In the other case, WADA appealed to the CAS against a decision by the appeals committee.

Explanatory Statement accompanying the National Doping Regulations (NDR)

At the request of the Institute for Sports Law (ISR) and a range of sports associations, the Doping Authority is developing an Explanatory Statement to accompany the NDR. The NDR are based on a combination of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), different International Standards, Dutch law, national and international case law, the Dutch approach to implementing doping controls, and the role of the Doping Authority.

Almost every provision in the NDR reflects a large or varied number of intentions, historical factors, international rules/procedures and case law. Disciplinary judges (and associations) often know little or nothing about this background. The Explanatory Statement is intended to remedy this and, in that way, contribute to the correct and full application of the NDR, particularly in doping cases.

Code Revision

In 2012, WADA distributed two draft versions of the revised WADC (which is due to come into force on 1 January 2015). The first draft proposed Draconian sanctions (standard suspensions of four years for many infringements, an Olympic ban that could include several Olympic Games, and far-reaching team penalties).

A positive development involves placing a greater emphasis on performance enhancement in the criteria for including substances on the prohibited list.

The Doping Authority has, in consultation with its policy partners (the Ministry of Sport, NOC*NSF and the NOC*NSF Athletes' Committee), sent a response to this draft version of the WADC to WADA. The Doping Authority also responded to this first draft Code through the contribution from the Council of Europe.

The second draft version of the revised Code was drastically amended with respect to the first draft. This draft still contains the proposal to establish a prohibited list in which the performance-enhancing effects of the substances play a central role. Considerable improvements have been made with respect to the previous version in the field of mitigating sanctions. The Doping Authority has also responded to this second draft version. The final consultation phase will end in March 2013. The definitive 2015 WADC will be adopted by WADA in November 2013 during the World Conference on Doping in Johannesburg.