From 1 January 2021, all anti-doping rule violations and consequences are processed and determined by the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel. The scope of a period of ineligibility is very extensive as it is applied globally and in all sports within the scope of an anti-doping code.
The possible sanctions for an anti-doping rule violation are:
- invalidation of a competition result
- rejection of the results of a sports event
- ineligibility in sports
- a written warning.
Sanctions issued for the use of a doping agent or method vary from a reprimand to four years of ineligibility, depending on the deliberateness of the athlete’s actions or the level of negligence. Distribution of doping agents and methods and promoting doping are considered a more severe act than the use of doping, and the sanction for them is a period of ineligibility of at least four years.
A period of ineligibility refers to a full ban on all activities related to organised sports. The period of ineligibility also applies to the activities of all organisations that have ratified the World Anti-Doping Code and is therefore global.
A person for whom a period of ineligibility has been imposed cannot:
- represent a sports association or other association committed to the code in a competition, association activity or other activity in any discipline committed to the Anti-Doping Code
- take part as a competitor in a competition or other sports events arranged by a sports organisation or other association committed to the Anti-Doping Code
- participate in a training camp or practice organised by a national sports federation, a club that is a member of that national federation or other party that is funded by a governmental agency
- act in administrative tasks, as an official, coach, physician or other support person in a sports organisation included in the scope of this Anti-Doping Code or another entity that has committed itself to the compliance with the code or as the personal coach, physician or other support person of an athlete who has committed to comply with the code.
However, athletes may return to training with a team or using the facilities of a club or other organisation committed to the code during the last two months of the athlete’s period of ineligibility or the last quarter of the period of ineligibility imposed, whichever of these options is shorter in duration.
If an athlete or other person who has been declared ineligible violates the prohibition against participation during the period of ineligibility, the results of such participation shall be disqualified and a new period of ineligibility equal in length to the original period of ineligibility shall be issued.
Publicity of periods of ineligibility
According to the World Anti-Doping Code, all periods of ineligibility concerning anti-doping rule violations must be made public, except in the case of minors, protected persons and recreational athletes.
FINCIS keeps an up-to-date list of currently valid periods of ineligibility on its website. This list includes the currently valid periods of ineligibility issued in Finland and periods of ineligibility issued to Finnish persons by other parties known by FINCIS. Periods of ineligibility concerning violations older than 10 years are not included in the list. More information about such periods of ineligibility can be requested separately from FINCIS.
The World Anti-Doping Agency WADA keeps a list of athletes’ support personnel that have been subject to a period of ineligibility in the past six years.