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The Anti-Doping in Sports Act represents the introduction of a regime to discourage the use of drugs and doping methods in sports in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas is a signatory to both the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport as well as the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport. The Act introduces domestic law, which is aligned with the World Anti-Doping Code.
When reviewing the Anti-Doping rules as put forth by the BADC, the following questions are key:
- What is the role of the BADC?
- To whom do the rules apply?
- What constitutes an Anti-Doping Rules Violation?
- What are the penalties or sanctions for violations and how do they apply to team sports?
- How are violations and disciplinary matters handled?
What constitutes an Anti-Doping Rules Violation?
In order to properly understand the Anti-Doping rules, all affected parties should know what constitutes a violation.
- The Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athletes Sample.
- Use or Attempted use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method. Note that certain substances may not be prohibited when an Athlete is “Out of Competition”.
- Refusing or failing without compelling justification to submit to Sample collection after notification in accordance with the Rules, or otherwise evading Sample collection.
- Not being accessible or available for Out-of-Competition testing; failing to file whereabouts information and missing scheduled tests. Any three of these infractions within an eighteen month period will constitute a Rule violation.
- Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of the Doping Control process.
- Possession of Prohibited Substances and/or Methods.
- Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any Prohibited Substances or Methods.
- Administration or attempted administration to any athlete of any prohibited substance or method.
THE PRINCIPLE OF STRICT LIABILITY
2.1 The presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete's bodily Specimen.
2.1.1 It is each Athlete's personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body. Athletes are responsible for any Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers found to be present in their bodily Specimens. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing Use on the Athlete's part be demonstrated in order to establish an anti-doping violation under Article 2.1.
It means that each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her bodily specimen, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance.
RISKS OF SUPPLEMENT USE
Nutritional supplements, also known as dietary supplements, are becoming a topic of increasing concern for athletes. This is because their ingredients may often contain prohibited substances that the athlete is not aware of. The easiest path for many athletes is simply not to use nutritional supplements, to avoid the risk of an unintentional doping violation.
If athletes choose to use nutritional or dietary supplements, they must exercise extreme caution and understand that they are ultimately responsible for every substance found within their bodies, whether ingested intentionally or unintentionally.
In general, food supplement products are not subject to strict manufacturing controls, even those you may find sold in pharmacies. There is always a risk that food supplement products may contain prohibited substances not identified on the label or substances in different concentrations than stated on the label. WADA does not endorse any food supplement product.
Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use.
The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a serious concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labeling of supplements do not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements and attributing an Adverse Analytical Finding to a poorly labeled dietary supplement is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.
The risks of taking supplements should be weighed against the potential benefit that may be obtained, and athletes must appreciate the negative consequences of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.
Use of supplement products that have been subjected to one of the available quality assurance schemes can help to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of an inadvertent doping infringement.
Risks of Supplements include:
- Manufacturing standards, which are often less strict when compared with medicines. These lower standards often lead to supplement contamination at production facilities;
- Fake or low-quality products which may contain prohibited substances and other substances that are harmful to health;
- Mislabelling of supplements – ingredients listen in the wrong dosage, or not at all identified on the product label;
- False claims that a particular supplement is endorsed by Anti-Doping Organisations or that it is “safe for athletes”. Remember, Anti-Doping Organisations do not certify supplements – this is done by independent companies.
CONSEQUENCES OF DOPING
- disqualification of results at an event, including forfeiture of medals.
- a ban from all sports (competing, training or coaching) for up to four years or even life in repeat or the most serious cases.
- publication of your anti-doping rule violation.
- the use of doping substances can trigger anxiety, obsessive disorders or psychosis.
- proven to have severe side effects and can cause irreversible damage to an athlete’s body.
- will have an impact on the person’s reputation and social relations.
- persons convicted of doping are often considered cheaters
- significant negative impact on the person’s private life and social interactions as people may feel that they no longer want to be connected to someone who has damaged the reputation of a sport and displayed poor judgement.
- Amongst other consequences deemed necessary by a Disciplinary Panel