While every elite athlete knows that a positive test for a banned substance will lead to a sanction, many athletes don't understand that one can commit an anti-doping rule violation without testing positive. If you are an elite athlete in an out-of-competition Registered Testing Pool (RTP), you are subject to drug testing without notice at any time. Any combination of three missed tests or three filing whereabouts failures in a 12-month period is an anti-doping rule violation that leads to a minimum 12-month sanction.
5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Whereabouts Failures
These five tips, put together by our international sports attorneys, are designed to help you stay in compliance with anti-doping regulations and ensure your rights are protected if you face a suspension for a whereabouts failure.
1. Sign Up for Automated Reminders
Athletes in many countries (including US athletes) can sign up to receive daily and weekly reminders to provide their whereabouts information through their results management authority. If you are worried that you may simply forget to update your information when your schedule changes, signing up to receive these reminders is a simple safeguard that can prevent future problems.
2. Proofread Your Submissions
Make it a habit to proofread your whereabouts information before you hit submit. It is easy to enter a wrong number in an address or make another mistake that will lead to inaccurate information and a potential missed test or filing failure.
3. Plan for the Possibility of Technical Problems
You can provide changes to your whereabouts information via an online app or by calling, texting, or emailing. Our international sports attorneys can't stress enough that you know how to provide your information in all possible ways, in case you find yourself in an area with insufficient cell service or have difficulty using the online app.
4. Always Keep Your GPS Turned On
By keeping your phone’s GPS turned on at all times you can verify your location. This could help you to prevent an anti-doping rule violation through proof that you were in your designated whereabouts location if the doping control officer later claims you were not there.
5. Know Your Rights
If you receive an initial notice of a filing failure or missed test, do not ignore it. According to our sports attorneys, you are entitled to provide your anti-doping results management authority with an explanation and to request an administrative review (an appeal) if the first decision goes against you.
Contact Our International Sports Attorneys for Assistance With Whereabouts Failures
If you are charged with whereabouts failures, the anti-doping authority must prove all three missed tests or filing failures in a 12-month period. Our experienced international sports attorneys will protect your rights throughout the process.
Attorneys Paul Greene and Matthew Kaiser are leaders in the field of sports law who have represented athletes from over 50 countries spanning nearly every sports category. When your career and reputation are at stake, you can count on Global Sports Advocates to protect you. If you have been accused of whereabouts failures, please contact us online or call us directly at +1-207-747-5899 to schedule a free consultation with one of our international anti-doping lawyers.