The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) fights a sophisticated war
against athletes and those around them who attempt to artificially
manipulate the athlete's body to enhance training and
performance. It is a challenging fight, requiring
highly-sophisticated testing and extensive resources to try to
remain relevant in the context of ever-evolving off-script drug use
and the development of designer drugs and means of artificial
performance manipulation. In the pursuit of a fairer competition
environment, the athletes' privacy is altered. Anti-doping
officials know the athletes' whereabouts on a daily basis,
random drug tests are conducted, they are asked to pee in a cup in
front of strangers and athlete biological passports are created.
The benefit to the athlete is, ideally, the belief that they are
competing in a fairer environment, one in which they don't have
to sacrifice long-term health for moments of glory.
National team athletes must proactively record their daily
whereabouts for the benefit of anti-doping officials so that random
out-of-competition testing may occur. Out of competition,
anti-doping officials can show up unannounced at the athlete's
house, a wedding or other private affair and the athlete must
comply and produce a 'sample' for testing. When athletes
are asked to provide a sample, they have to pee in a cup in front
of a doping official to ensure they aren't substituting or
compromising the urine sample. When I had to do this (many years
ago), there were occasionally awards for who could provide a sample
the quickest because having to produce a sample in front of a
stranger can cause its own performance issues.
In some instances, such as to substantiate therapeutic drug use
exemptions, athletes also have to provide a significant amount of
personal medical information to anti-doping officials to justify
the medications they are taking.
In the last number of years, WADA has commenced the use of the
Athlete Biological Passports (ABP) on certain athletes. One of the
greatest challenges of traditional doping techniques is that the
creation of tests for particular substances or doping methods often
lagged behind the creation or use of new doping drugs or methods.
The ABP monitors selected biological variables of the athletes over
time. The ABP
tests attempt to understand the athlete's particular body
– what is normal and abnormal to a particular athlete. The
goal is to use the biological variable results over time to reveal
the effects of doping rather than attempting to detect the doping
substance or method itself.
All of the samples and medical information obtained through
anti-doping measures are retained for several years for two main
purposes. The samples and information must be retained so that they
can be tested and analyzed in subsequent years once new testing
becomes available for substances or doping markers. As well, the
information obtained is often used for research purposes. The
amount and sensitivity of the information on athletes which is
acquired by anti-doping officials and testing laboratories is
significant. WADA, from its perspective, acknowledges the
sensitivity of the information and has privacy and security
protocols in place. An analysis of those protocols will be featured
in a future blog post.
So, as we head into the Rio Olympics and we feel slightly
irritated when we download an app that requires us to share a bit
more information than we'd like, consider what the athletes
give up for the honour of representing their country.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).