Processing of anti-doping rule violations

The actions to be taken in cases of anti-doping rule violations are defined in Finland’s Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Results Management. According to these texts, suspected violations are processed by the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel. Please study Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules carefully.

Anti-doping rule violations

According to Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules, anti-doping rule violations include:

  • a prohibited substance or evidence of the use of a prohibited method in a sample collected from the athlete’s body
  • use of a prohibited substance or method
  • refusing sample collection or avoiding doping control
  • failure to comply with whereabouts regulations
  • tampering with doping control or a doping test
  • possession of doping agents
  • distribution of doping agents and methods
  • promotion of doping
  • complicity and
  • prohibited association
  • intimidation of a person submitting a report or reprisals targeted at such persons.

An attempted anti-doping rule violation is typically considered equal to an anti-doping rule violation.

Regulations on the use of doping, doping tests or contact and whereabouts information do not apply to coaches or other support persons of an athlete. They are to be investigated for an antidoping rule violation when they are guilty of an act that can, according to the Rules, be defined as:

  • tampering with doping control or a doping test
  • possession of a doping agent
  • distribution of doping agents and methods 
  • promotion of doping
  • intimidation of a person submitting a report or reprisals targeted at such persons.

If a coach or another member of the support personnel of an athlete uses prohibited doping agents, they are not allowed to co-operate with the athlete.

Decision-making and appeals related to anti-doping rule violations

From 1 January 2021, the responsibility for processing and issuing decisions regarding anti-doping rule violations belongs to the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel. In cases where the athlete fails to dispute the process or declines from participating in the process after a specified period of time from receiving a notification, a decision is made by FINCIS. Similarly, a decision is made by FINCIS if an athlete or another person admits to having committed a violation that results in a period of ineligibility of four years. In such cases of early admission, the sanction is a period of ineligibility of three years.

If an international federation has determined that a Finnish athlete or other person has committed an anti-doping rule violation but has transferred the management of the case to a Finnish sports organisation that is committed to this code, the latter organisation must immediately inform FINCIS of the management of the matter having been transferred, in compliance with the general guidelines ratified by FINCIS.

FINCIS will process the matter referred to in the notification in compliance with the regulations of this code where applicable.

Appeals regarding decisions based on Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules are submitted to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport if the appeal involves international-level athletes or international sports events. In cases involving other athletes or persons, appeals can be submitted to the Finnish Sports Arbitration Board. Appeals concerning the decisions of international federations are submitted according to their respective codes.

Anti-Doping Hearing Panel

The Anti-Doping Hearing Panel is an independent body responsible for processing and determining whether the action of an athlete or another person falling within the scope of application of the anti-doping code is to be regarded as an anti-doping rule violation as specified in the code and, if necessary, determining the appropriate sanctions.

The Anti-Doping Hearing Panel is appointed by the FINCIS Annual Meeting. The panel consists of nine members knowledgeable about top-level sports and two deputy members. The Chair, two other members and one deputy member must hold a degree that is required for holding judicial office. Three members and one deputy member must be licensed physicians and a further three members must be experts with in-depth knowledge of top-level sports. 

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