There is a lack of harmonisation in implementing anti-doping rules and procedures across countries, suggest the findings.
Shaun Star, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India; Ph.D. Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QL, Australia.
The World Anti-Doping Agency aims to promote clean sport through the introduction and implementation of harmonised rules under the World Anti-Doping Code, 2021 (the Code). Since WADA relies heavily on National Anti-Doping Organisations to implement the Code, the experience of anti-doping differs across countries. Some scholars argue that the current framework disproportionately impacts athletes from developing countries.
This paper contributes to this debate by analysing systemic issues in the implementation of the Code in one such country—India. The legitimacy of anti-doping in India has been questioned as a result of the recent suspension of the National Dope-Testing Laboratory, a series of false positive tests, accusations of significant procedural and substantive errors by domestic tribunals, and access to justice challenges.
Given the prevalence of doping in India, alongside the accumulation of recent controversies and push for reform, a deeper analysis of anti-doping in the country is warranted. The lack of compliance in India with certain requirements set out in the Code, as well as the failure to meet “best practice” standards set by other jurisdictions, is evidence that there is a lack of harmonisation in implementing anti-doping rules and procedures across countries.
This paper contributes to the debate on the impact that a lack of harmonisation in the implementation of the Code can have on the legitimacy of the anti-doping framework. From a policy perspective, the proposed research agenda and recommendations can be applied to promote reform in India and other jurisdictions, especially in developing and emerging countries.
Published in: The International Sports Law Journal
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