EU Athletes general position on anti-doping

EU Athletes and its members are committed to doping-free sport and would support a fair and effective performance-enhancing drug testing regime that recognizes, respects and protects athletes’ legal rights as employees, workers and European citizens. In areas where there is a clear economic element, anti-doping rules must be negotiated directly with employee social partner organizations through either a social dialogue or collective bargaining process.

The current anti-doping system is based on WADA, established a foundation under the Swiss law. Receiving its founding from the IOC and the governments, it remains a private structure with an “autonomous” status. Regardless its doubtful legitimacy, transparency or representativeness, it managed to impose its anti-doping rules into the national legal systems without taking into account the essential rights of the athletes.

The player associations and sports trade union movement need to be recognised as a formal member of WADA with a seat on the board. It is simply not appropriate for governments and sports federations to pick athletes representatives.


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A) Anti-doping rules need to respect the fundamental rights of sportsmen and women;

B) National anti-doping organizations should aim to higher standard of reporting and accountability to athletes;

C) Sanctions for doping must be proportionate. It is questionable as to whether a four year ban is appropriate for the majority of first offenses;

D) Within reason, testing regimes must respect the working time directive with regards to holidays and days off;

E) Where appropriate, team whereabouts should be sufficient instead of individual whereabouts reporting;

F) More emphasis needs to be placed on anti-doping education and the rehabilitation of sports persons guilty of an anti-doping rule offence;

G) Recreational drugs are a special case that needs to be bought outside of the WADA Code and be treated through rehabilitation and treatment rather than bans;

H) Study on the prevalence of doping in sport should be set up to effectively measure the impact of anti-doping in sport and a cost benefit analysis of different aspects of the testing regime;

I) Principle of the free consent regarding the EU data protection law must be respected in the case of athletes, who are currently threatened with sanctions or non-participation if consent is not given for the transfer of sensitive personal data;

The enforcement of anti-doping rules must be proportionate and balanced and in this context, national governments and European institutions should be proactive in the protection of sports persons’ fundamental rights. Anti-doping rules must continue to be proportionate and conform to the law.