WADA expands first-time doping bans to four years

World Anti-Doping Agency announces 2015 Code, which expands the suspensions for first-time doping cases

The World Anti-Doping Agency will expand first-time doping sanctions to four years, the global doping body announced on Friday at the conclusion of its annual meeting in Johannesburg. WADA also announced the appointment of its next chair, International Olympic Committee vice president Sir Craig Reedie.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, WADA will enforce the four-year ban on first-time offenders. Currently, first-time offenses carry a two-year suspension. While the first-time ban will increase, WADA will also gain flexibility in application of anti-doping rules per sport.

The updated World Anti-Doping Code, adopted Friday by the WADA board of directors, will read:

The period of Ineligibility imposed for a first violation of Articles 2.1, 2.2 or 2.6 shall be as follows, subject to potential reduction or suspension of sanction pursuant to Articles 10.4, 10.5 or 10.6: 10.2.1 The period of Ineligibility shall be four years where: The anti-doping rule violation does not involve a Specified Substance, unless the Athlete or other Person can establish that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional. The anti-doping rule violation involves a Specified Substance and the Anti-Doping Organization can establish that the anti-doping rule violation was intentional.

Reedie will fill the post currently held by John Fahey, who will complete his six-year term at the end of 2013.

Where flexibility is concerned, Fahey said, according to the BBC, “There is no point in the chess federation, for example, testing for human growth hormones.”

Read the final draft of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code >>