If there are substantiated suspicions that one of the ten offenses listed in the Doping Statute has been committed, Antidoping Switzerland will submit an application to the Swiss Olympic Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases for disciplinary proceedings to be opened.
Disciplinary Proceedings Step by Step
- The individual concerned is notified by Antidoping Switzerland of a suspected violation of anti-doping rules. This notification is copied to their national federation. The individual should initially remain calm. In view of the complexity of the proceedings, it is nonetheless recommended that they seek legal counsel (at own expense).
- If their sample has tested positive (Article 2.1 Doping Statute), the individual concerned has the right to demand that the B sample also be analyzed, to receive copies of the laboratory records, to voluntarily request a provisional suspension, to submit evidence and an initial statement.
If the suspicions do not concern a positive sample, but a violation under Articles 2.2 to 2.10 of the Doping Statute, the individual concerned may voluntarily request a provisional suspension, submit evidence and an initial statement.
- If suspicions of doping cannot be disproved, the individual will be notified of the opening of disciplinary proceedings, as well as of any provisional suspension. The individual concerned is given the opportunity to submit a further statement, in addition to evidence. The national sports federation is a party to the proceedings.
- The DC will give the individual concerned a date for an oral hearing, during which the individual will be questioned and given the opportunity to put their case.
- The decision by the DC will be reasoned in writing to the parties subsequently.
- As soon as the DC has passed its decision, it will be published. The parties will be notified of the date of publication. It is recommended that the individual concerned should confidentially inform the family, sponsors, and partner at this time.
- The individual has 21 days from the date the decision is issued in writing in which to appeal against it to the CAS.
The parties shall be granted legal deadlines for the exercise of their rights as parties and may extend them with written justification.
The Swiss Olympic Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases (DC) rules as a tribunal of first instance on all doping cases which fall under the jurisdiction of the Doping Statute. The DC consists of about 20 judges, who are lawyers and medical experts. They are elected directly by the Sports Parliament. When proceedings are opened, the DC selects a three-person committee from the pool of its members to handle the case. Antidoping Switzerland appears before the DC in the role of complainant. As part of the proceedings, respondents are given a hearing, are able to put forward their case, and may be represented by legal counsel. The national sports federations concerned are entitled to exercise party rights in these proceedings.
Appeals against the decisions of the DC may be lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. The convicted athletes themselves, Antidoping Switzerland, the national and international federations concerned, and WADA, all have the right to appeal.
If an individual is suspended owing to anti-doping rule violations, they are prohibited from participating in sport in any capacity. This includes acting as a coach or officer. It applies universally to all types of sport and all countries which are subject to the Doping Statute or to the World Anti-Doping Code.
Level of Penalties
The standard penalty for a deliberate violation is a four-year suspension , although a standard two-year suspension applies in the case of specific substances (->Link to Prohibited List, Substances paragraph). In serious cases, as well as repeat offenses, the individual concerned may receive a lifetime suspension. The rules allow for less severe sanctions in individual cases (the minimum being a warning), if the accused athlete can prove “no significant fault”.