Before the Rio Games started, athletes were being warned not to use any supplements which may contain banned substances which are not listed on product labels. This standard has been implemented since the first World Anti-Doping Code came into existence in the hopes of developing an honest and talent-based sporting culture.
So what is going on with Russia? Why is it that nobody from Russia is able to compete in the Rio Games?
It is important to note, perhaps universally, that sport plays a critical role in society. It has the power to bring people together, improve one’s fitness and inspire others to be proud of something. Thus, when an element is introduced to challenge this key pillar of society and potentially reflect poorly on the institution as a whole, the law will step in.
Russia has found themselves in a spot of difficulty. That spot is the ban on the Russian track and field team from the Rio Games. Russia appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) after the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). Acting in accordance with the legal right to sanction, the International Olympic Committee has respected Russia’s right to procedural fairness but ultimately, Russia’s athletics team will remain banned from competing.
However, some are concerned this is not enough.
Sports lawyer and former NRL player, Tim Fuller, believes that in the report compiled by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), there were approximately 25 other Russian sports implicated in substances scheme developed by Russian laboratories. Should additional legal action be taken against these sports as well?
Some have argued that WADA is not strong enough as it lacks the power to enforce the compliance of all signatories. In its attempts to promote Olympism and true talent, legal action must be taken against those who do not comply in order to deter future competitors from making the same mistakes.
If you have been caught for substance abuse or simply wish to know more about the laws surrounding anti-doping, do not hesitate to contact our offices on 02 8917 8700.