As stipulated under Article 2 of the Results Management, Hearings and Decisions Guidelines ADOs are required by Code Article 20 to vigorously pursue all potential Anti-Doping rule violations (ADRVs) within their jurisdiction.
When a case arises, the first issue to address is therefore jurisdiction, i.e. which ADO has Results Management Authority (RMA) for a case. International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) bear primary responsibility for Results Management. In certain situations, other parties also have Results Management-related responsibilities, e.g. Major Event Organizations (MEOs) and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs).
WADA shall monitor compliance with the Code, i.e. whether ADOs conduct Results Management and hearings in a Code-compliant manner. WADA shall ensure that the mandatory provisions of the Code are duly implemented and respected, that cases are dealt with in a timely fashion to protect the rights of both the Anti-Doping Community and the Athletes. WADA has the right to appeal any decision if it believes that it is not compliant with the Code. This is essential in ensuring a harmonized application of the rules.
For Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs), the RMA is the ADO that initiated and directed the Sample Collection Session, namely the Testing Authority by default, unless another ADO has been specifically identified. For Non-Analytical violations, the RMA will be the ADO which Athlete or other Person first provides notice to an Athlete or other Person of an asserted ADRV.
If a test is conducted by WADA on its own initiative or an ADRV is discovered by WADA, the RMA will be the ADO designated by WADA.
For AAFs arising from Major Events Organizer (MEO) tests or other ADRVs discovered at MEO Events, MEOs shall have primary responsibility for conducting the Results Management and hearing processes for the purpose of determining whether or not the Athlete has committed an ADRV.
In the interest of fair, effective sport justice, any asserted ADRV should be prosecuted in a timely manner. Irrespective of the type of ADRV involved, any ADO should be able to conclude Results Management and the hearing process within a maximum of 6 months of the date of commission4 or of discovery of the ADRV.
If an ADO fails to render a decision within a reasonable deadline set by WADA, the Agency may elect to bring the case directly before the CAS. The CAS may decide that the costs of the proceedings and WADA’s attorney fees shall be paid by the RMA (Code Article 13.3).
Statute of Limitations
No ADRV proceedings can commence against an Athlete or other Person unless he/she was notified within 10 years from the date the ADRV is asserted to have occurred (Code Article 17). If there is any doubt that the violation was committed within the 10-year period, the RMA should take reasonable steps to determine that the ADRV does fall within the limitation period before taking action. 3.3
The Results Management phase is confidential. ADOs are encouraged to strictly limit access to, and disclosure of, information collected or processed during this phase solely on a need-to-know basis. Premature breaches of confidentiality could have serious consequences6 and result in significant legal claims being made by the Person(s) affected.
Reporting of A Sample results by the Laboratory
All AAFs shall be reported by the Laboratory via ADAMS within 10 working days of the Sample’s receipt by the Testing Authority, the relevant IF and WADA.
- Initial review (Code Article 7.2)
Upon receipt of an AAF, the RMA conducts an initial review before notifying the Athlete, as per Code Articles 7.3, 14.1.1 and 14.1.3.
The RMA shall ascertain whether a TUE exists in relation to the Prohibited Substance that has been detected in the Athlete’s Sample. If it appears that the TUE is valid and any terms have been complied with, the RMA will notify relevant parties that no further action will follow (Code Article 14.1.4).
- Notification if the case is not brought forward after the initial review. Or Athlete notification after the initial review and notification of the asserted ADRV (charge).
- B Sample analysis 126.96.36.199
Both the Athlete and the RMA have the possibility to request the B Sample analysis (Code Article 7.3).
- Review Findings and/or Violations. Findings of Violations are reviewed.
- Notification after review.
Based on the results of its investigation, if an ADO concludes that proceedings should be brought against an Athlete or other Person asserting the commission of an ADRV, it gives notice of that decision in accordance with Code Article 14.1
- Provisional Suspensions / Mandatory Provisional Suspension/ Voluntary Suspension.
Measure imposed by a RMA upon an Athlete or Athlete Support Personnel after that Person has been notified or charged with an ADRV supported by sound, reliable evidence.
- The Hearing/ Waiver of hearing/ Single CAS hearing.
Any Athlete or other Person who has been formally charged with an ADRV is entitled to a fair, impartial and timely hearing (Code Article 8).
If there is no dispute between an ADO and an Athlete or Athlete Support Personnel as regards an ADRV charge. The Athlete or Athlete Support Personnel may admit the wrongdoing and accept the ADO’s case regarding the Consequences to be imposed. In such situations, there is no need for a hearing to be conducted no dispute to resolve.
Code Article 8.5 contains a provision that allows an ADO and an Athlete or Athlete Support Personnel to have an ADRV matter determined by the CAS at a single hearing. All parties to the case must agree to this, as well as the relevant IF and WADA.
- The Decision.
The decision shall be rendered shortly after the hearing.
- Notification of decision. Once a decision has been taken by the hearing panel in charge of the case, the responsible ADO shall ensure that a complete and reasoned decision is notified to the parties with a right of appeal under Code Article 13.2.3 as provided in Code Article 14.2 on a timely basis.
- Publication of Sanction. A mandatory part of each sanction shall include automatic publication as provided in Code Article 14.3.
The majority of decisions rendered under Code-compliant rules may be appealed (Code Article 13.1). Once an appeal has been lodged, the appealed decision remains in effect, unless the appeals body orders otherwise.
- Notification of appeals decisions.
Appeals decisions shall be notified and publicly disclosed as described in the Guidelines Sections 5.2.4 and 5.2.5.
- Appeal to the CAS.
The CAS is an arbitration body specialized in sport-related disputes and having its seat in Lausanne, Switzerland. The CAS is the last resort disciplinary body for doping–related matters under the Code.