The Swiss Olympic Doping Statute

The Swiss Olympic Doping Statute

The revised Swiss Olympic Doping Statute was approved by the Sports Parliament at its 18th meeting held on 28 November 2014. It replaces that of 2010 and enters into effect on 1 January 2015. The Statute is the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code in Switzerland. It begins by defining the bodies involved in the campaign against doping in Switzerland - Antidoping Switzerland and Swiss Olympic’s Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases – and their responsibilities.

The revised Statute came into force on 1 January 2015.

These are the most important provisions of the Doping Statute:

  • Art. 2 Anti-Doping Rule Violations

  • Art. 5 Testing and Investigations

  • Art. 7 Results Management

  • Art. 8 Scope of Application

  • Art. 10 Sanctions on Individuals

  • Art. 13 Appeals

  • Art. 14 Confidentiality and Reporting

  • Art. 15 Application and Recognition of Decisions

  • Art. 18 Education

  • Art. 20 Responsibilities of Federations and their Members

The main changes to the Statute in effect from 1 January 2015 are as follows:

  • The standard sanction for intentional doping has been increased to a four-year ban.
  • The new regulation does allow for a considerably less severe sanction in individual cases (minimum: warning without ban, maximum: two-year ban) if an athlete can demonstrate “no significant fault”, in particular due to a contaminated product.
  • Two new doping violations have been introduced: “Complicity” and “Prohibited Association”. These are now doping offences.
  • The time period during which an athlete can accumulate three missed controls or whereabouts failures has been reduced from 18 to 12 months. The new rule of thumb is 3/12 rather than 3/18 as before.
  • The statute of limitations has been extended to ten years. This means that a doping sample can be frozen and kept for up to ten years for testing purposes.
  • International federations (IFs) and national anti-doping agencies (NADOs) now recognise each others’ therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).
  • There are new criteria for determining the length of a ban imposed for a second anti-doping offence by an athlete or other person.
  • There are new provisions regarding an athlete’s return to training during suspension.
  • The members of Swiss Olympic are required to engage in doping prevention activities in agreement and conjunction with the Antidoping Switzerland Foundation.

Below is a selection of the main principles of the Doping Statute:

  • All prohibited substances shall be considered as specified substances except substances in the classes of anabolic agents and hormones and those stimulants and hormone antagonists and modulators which are not listed as specified substances on the Prohibited List. Prohibited methods are not considered as specified substances.
  • A temporary suspension can be imposed immediately if an athlete tests positive to an A-test. It must be imposed if the application of non-specified substances or methods can be proved;
  • The definitions and comments form an integral part of the Doping Statute.

Rules of procedure and administrative examination

The administrative examination in accordance with the associated rules of procedure is carried out in German, French and Italian by Laurent Contat, lawyer, Lausanne.