Anti-Doping - Essential Information

Anti-Doping: The Big Picture

Scottish Rugby works closely with World Rugby, the UK Anti-Doping authority (UKAD) and others in the fight against doping in our sport. Doping distorts competition and is wholly against the ethos of our game. We believe that it is important that players, coaches and others have easy access to a range of essential anti-doping information. More detailed information is available from the UKAD website.

Anti-Doping in Scottish Rugby

All players have the right to play the game knowing that they, their team mates and their opponents, are “clean”. The use of performance-enhancing drugs and other doping behaviour severely damages the legitimacy of rugby and undermines the integrity of clean players.

Scottish Rugby believes in clean sport and works with a range of partner organisations to ensure that the integrity of rugby is protected.

Who is involved in the Fight against Doping

There are a number of organisations working hard to protect the integrity of our sport. These include:

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which leads the world-wide campaign for clean sport. WADA is an independent agency, funded by both sport and governments. It is responsible for the World Anti-Doping Code, which aims to harmonise anti-doping policies across sport, ensuring that players and player support personnel are treated fairly and consistently.

Rugby’s World Governing body, World Rugby, has provided an anti-doping regulatory framework for the sport which is compliant with the WADA Code. Scottish Rugby is responsible to World Rugby for instances of doping within the Scottish game.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is the United Kingdom’s national anti-doping agency. UKAD is responsible for ensuring that UK sports bodies comply with the WADA Code. It does this through education and testing programmes, gathering and developing intelligence, and prosecuting those found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. Scottish Rugby works in partnership with UKAD and we have conferred responsibility on it for case to answer determination and results management in our game.

The National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) acts as the first instance tribunal to consider alleged anti-doping rule violations within our game. Appeals are considered by an NADP appeal tribunal.

Our Anti-Doping Rules

Scottish Rugby has in place a set of anti-doping rules that all players, coaches and player support personnel must abide by (Scottish Domestic Regulation 21: Anti-Doping). Scottish Rugby’s anti-doping rules are consistent with the WADA Code and World Rugby’s Regulation 21 on Anti-Doping.

All those within the Scottish Rugby Union’s jurisdiction are required to comply with these Regulations.

What is Strict Liability?

All players need to be aware of the principle of strict liability. This means that players are solely responsible for any banned substance they use, attempt to use, or that is found in their system - regardless of how it got there and whether or not they had an intention to cheat.

What are the Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)?

The WADA Code outlines ten Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs).  Players, and Player Support Personnel (ASP), may receive a ban from sport if any of the following ADRVs are committed:

  • Returning a positive test;
  • Using, or attempting to use, a banned substance or method;
  • Refusal or failure to provide a sample when requested;
  • Tampering, or attempting to tamper, with any part of the testing process;
  • Possession of a banned substance or method;
  • Trafficking, or attempted trafficking, of any banned substance or method;
  • Administering, or attempted administering, of a banned substance or method to an player; or encouragement, aiding and/or covering up of any involvement in an ADRV;
  • Receiving any combination of three filing failures and/or missed tests in a time period of 12 months (for players who are part of the National Registered Testing Pool);
  • Complicity; and
  • Prohibited association.

All ten ADRVs apply to players. Only the ADRVs in italics apply to ASP.

The Consequences of an ADRV are Significant

Under the WADA Code, a minimum four-year ban from sport will apply to those who are found to be deliberately cheating and breaking the rules.

The Code has little sympathy for carelessness. However, for inadvertent doping, players are more likely to face a two-year ban from sport.

All players, coaches and player support personnel need to make sure they have sufficient anti-doping knowledge to avoid committing an ADRV and receiving a ban from sport.

Managing the Risk of Inadvertent Doping

The Prohibited List

All banned substances and methods in are set out in the WADA Prohibited List. This is updated regularly and at least at the beginning of each calendar year. A summary of the changes is also provided. The Prohibited List at any time is freely available on the internet:

Understand the Importance of Checking Medications

Before taking any medication (whether from a doctor or bought over the counter) players must check to make sure it does not contain any banned substances. Medications can be checked online at Global DRO. It is important to note that medications bought in one country may contain different ingredients to the same branded medication in another country.

Know the Risks with Nutritional Supplements

Players are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.

Before making a decision to use supplements Players are advised to:

  • Read Scottish Rugby’s Position Statement on the Use of Supplements
  • Assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products
  • Assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • Assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban

However, supplement risks can be reduced by:

  • undertaking thorough internet research
  • only using batch-tested products
  • checking on Informed-Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been batch tested

Visit the UKAD Supplements website for further information including information on the Informed Sport programme, which provides a batch-testing service for supplement products.

Apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)  

Players who need to use a banned substance or method to treat a genuine medical condition, and there are no reasonable alternatives, may be able to apply for a TUE.

  • International-level players (as defined by World Rugby) apply to World Rugby for a TUE (1).
  • Players competing at National (2) level need to apply to UKAD for a TUE.

Note 1. Players who have an existing TUE issued by UKAD do not need to reapply for a new TUE when becoming an International-Level Player. They should provide World Rugby with a copy of their TUE to ensure it is recognised.

Note 2. Players listed under the ‘National’ category for their sport must apply for their TUE in advance of playing. The ‘National’ category for TUEs is defined by UKAD by sport and can be found on UKAD’s website. Only in an emergency situation or where there will be a severe impact on health should treatment begin without the necessary approval.

You can find out more about whether you need a TUE and how to apply for one (including emergency TUEs) on the UKAD TUE website.

Understand What Happens in a Test (Doping Control)

Doping control tests can take place at any level within the Scottish game. Players should feel prepared and know their rights and responsibilities when they are notified to be tested. When selected for testing, players should take a representative with them to the Doping Control Station.

A urine test will follow these main steps:

  • Notification
  • Reporting to Doping Control Station
  • Providing a sample
  • Recording and certifying sample information

UK Anti-Doping recommends that players follow their normal hydration routines if selected for testing.

Players need to be prepared to provide details of any substances they have taken – this needs to be written on the Doping Control form. Players should report any concerns they have about the process or the equipment on the Doping Control form.

Players can find out more about testing, including their rights and responsibilities, in the UKAD Athlete Zone or by downloading the Clean Sport App from their app store.

Know Where to Look for Support and Advice

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about the anti-doping rules. As well as asking Scottish Rugby, coaches and player support personnel, you may also contact UKAD directly, who will be able to answer any questions and provide guidance.

Help Keep Sport Clean

We all have a responsibility to report doping in sport and help keep it clean. A 24-hour dedicated phone line is ready to take your call if you have any suspicions or concerns about incidences of doping in sport. You can provide information in complete confidence by calling 08000 32 23 32 or via a UKAD Report a Doping Concern website. All information is passed securely to UKAD’s intelligence unit for investigation.

Useful Links and Resources

100% me – Supporting Players to be Clean

100% me is UK Anti-Doping’s education programme for players – designed to provide information resources, education sessions and general advice to players throughout their sporting careers. Find out about 100% me in the dedicated Athlete Zone of the UKAD website.

100% me Elite Player Clean Sport App for Smartphones

For essential anti-doping information download the Clean Sport App from iTunes or Google Play – the sport specific or the generic version.

Check Your Medications on Global Drug Reference Online

Remember to check all medications on Global DRO, where you can search by ingredients or brand name.

Assess the Risk of Supplements on Informed Sport

You can find information on supplements and ways of reducing the risks on Informed Sport.

Register with UK Anti-Doping

Visit UKAD’s website and register to keep up to date with the latest news.

For More Information from UKAD:

Keep up to date with the latest news on www.facebook.com/100percentme.uk or www.facebook.com/ukantidoping

Have your say on Twitter @UKAntiDoping.