secrets behind the FIA Anti-Doping Rules

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile has followed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) World Anti-Doping Code since 2010.  At Global Sports Advocates, our international anti-doping attorneys help drivers and driver support personnel understand these rules so they can protect their reputation and right to compete.

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Table of Contents:

Persons Subject to Testing

FIA anti-doping rules apply to both drivers and driver support personnel taking part in any competition registered on the FIA International Sporting Calendar. This includes drivers who are not regular members of the FIA or of one of its ASNs but who want to be eligible to compete in a particular international event.

Banned Substances Under FIA Anti-Doping Rules

The FIA uses the banned substances list adopted by WADA. This list includes:

  • Anabolic agents, including anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMS)
  • Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances, and mimetics 
  • Beta-2 agonists
  • Hormone and metabolic modulators
  • Diuretics and masking agents used to enhance urine output or modify urine test results
  • Stimulants, including amphetamines and cocaine
  • Pain-relieving narcotics 
  • Cannabinoids, including marijuana and hashish
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Beta-blockers

Banned Methods Under FIA Anti-Doping Rules

In addition to these substance categories, WADA also bans specific methods:

  • Manipulation of blood and blood components to alter the oxygen-transporting capacity of blood
  • Chemical and physical manipulation, such as tampering with samples or employing IV infusions to dilute urine drug metabolite concentrations
  • Gene doping, including the use of nucleic acids or their analogs, gene editing, and cell manipulation to enhance performance 

Applying for a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption)

If you must use a prohibited substance or method to treat a medical condition, you must obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). The International Testing Agency (ITA) is responsible for all TUE application processes for individuals falling under the FIA’s jurisdiction. In certain circumstances, you may be able to apply for a TUE retroactively.

What Happens After an FIA Anti-Doping Rule Violation

According to our international anti-doping attorneys, your notice of a rule violation will include: 

  • Your name, country, sport, and discipline within the sport
  • Your competitive level
  • Whether the test was in-competition or out-of-competition
  • The date of sample collection
  • The analytical result reported by the laboratory
  • Any other information relevant to the case

Notification of anti-doping rule violations other than under Article 2.1 will also include the rule violated and the basis of the asserted violation.

For sanctions to be imposed, the FIA must establish that an anti-doping rule violation has occurred. The standard of proof is described as “greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

If you are accused of committing an anti-doping rule violation, the FIA must grant you a hearing within a reasonable timeframe. The hearing must be conducted by a fair, impartial, and independent panel in compliance with the Code and the International Standard for Results Management

After the hearing, the FIA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee (ADC) will issue a written decision that includes the full reasons for the decision, the period of ineligibility imposed, and any disqualification of results. If applicable, the decision must also include a justification for why greater consequences were not imposed. At this time, you’ll also receive a notice of your right to appeal. The deadline for appealing to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is 21 days from the date you received the decision.

Alternatively, anti-doping rule violations involving international-level drivers, national-level drivers, or other persons may, with the consent of the involved party, the FIA, and WADA, be heard in a single CAS hearing.

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