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Author: Rithun S, III year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from SASTRA Deemed to be University


Doping refers to the use of the illegal substance by the athletes to improve their performance. Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) in the form of drugs used by the athletes to improve their performance. Many voices rose against the drugs and many of them demanded to ban drugs. Hence, in 1928 the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) was the athletics’ world governing body and it was the first international sports federation to ban doping. To stop drug use by the players, in 1996, the world governing bodies for cycling and football introduced doping tests for the players. In the Olympics, the doping tests were introduced in 1968 at the winter games in Grenoble and summer games in Mexico. After 1970 most of the federations had introduced drug testing. In 1998, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established to ban doping.

Doping control

The Norwegian Confederation of Sport, General Assembly decided in 1976 to institute regular doping control for anabolic steroids, and these controls were started in 1977 according to the following guidelines:

1. Before departure for international championships, selected groups of Norwegian athletes will be checked medically to determine if anabolic steroids have been used

2. Random controls may be carried out on Norwegian representatives in international competitions and at various times during the year to monitor the use of anabolic steroids

3. Each year doping tests will be carried out at selected Norwegian championships

4. The Sports Council takes the initiative to establish these controls and tests

From 1979 the control measures were extended to include all athletes regardless of age, sex, athletic discipline, or individual performing capacity. From 1980 the doping control programs have been extended to include all drugs and agents adopted by the IOC Medical Commission list.

Anti-doping organization

1. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

2. National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)


WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is the international agency and has the largest anti-doping organization established by the International Olympics Committee which promotes, regulates, monitors, coordinates and supervises the fight against the drugs in sports. UNESCO enforces the international convention against doping in sports.


NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) is the national organization. In India, it is responsible for promoting, coordinating and monitoring control of the doping program. The National Anti-Doping Agency is also dealing with the adoption and implementation in anti-doping rules and policies with the World Anti-Doping Agency. It is not only for the handing down punishment to offender doping but also for making them aware of the usage of the prohibited substance.

Which sports were controlled?


Sports Number of control Number of tests


Skating 3 19


Skiing (Nordic and Alpine) 7 43


Power lifting 11 50


Judo 2 25


Weight lifting 14 70


Track and field 7 56


Rowing 2 10


Cycling 1 3


Orienteering 1 4


Wrestling 3 15


Water skiing 1 4


Swimming and diving 2 13


Canoeing 1 8


Shooting 1 4


Boxing 2 11


Archery 1 8


Tennis 2 4


Motor cycling 1 4


Karate 1 6


Basketball 2 10


Ice hockey and bandy 4 28


Handball 1 8


Volleyball 1 8


Table tennis 1 5


Doping test during games

There are two types of testing

1. In-Competition Testing

2. Out-of-Competition Testing

In-Competition Test will conduct 12 hours before the competition and after the end of the competition.

Out-of-Competition Test will take place at any time outside the in-competition period and it will be conducted at any time without any prior notice.

Testing procedure

A urine or blood sample will be collected from an athlete. To ensure that the sample has been collected from the athlete’s body and the other, a specialist of the same gender as the athlete will be present during the sample collection. A specialist dope testing official is known as Doping Control Officer (DCO). Blood Collection Officer (BCO) will collect the blood sample from the athlete. The DCO and BCO will conduct the doping test as well as they are part of a larger team consisting of both domestic and international doping control staff. A ‘chaperone’ will monitor all the process of collecting a sample from the athlete.


Doping is an illegal offence in competitive sports. Even though the anti-doping agencies are fighting against doping, it continues. Doping in sport is becoming a social issue because of the prevalence and effect. Some athletes are taking the doping to get good sponsors and to get more publicity. Coaches have an important role in athletes’ doping; they are responsible for the illegal actions of the athletes. The athletes should be careful while taking drugs and the physicians should pay attention when prescribing drugs.


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