Athletes testing positive for recreational drugs out-of-competition will be banned by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) for 1-3 months instead of two years when the policy is changed next year, officials said on Thursday, APA reports citing Reuters.
WADA’s reduced sanctions for drugs that do not enhance the performance of an athlete will come into effect from Jan. 1, 2021, with a stronger focus on catching athletes who cheat instead.
WADA’s new code says athletes caught taking non-performance- enhancing drugs during out-of-competition tests will see their punishment reduced to three months unless they agree to complete a rehab treatment program, in which case the sanction will be reduced to one month.
“If the athlete can establish that any ingestion or use occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, then the period of ineligibility shall be three (3)months,” WADA’s new code says.
“In addition, the period of ineligibility calculated... may be reduced to one (1) month if the athlete or other person satisfactorily completes a substance of abuse treatment program approved by the Anti-Doping Organization.”
WADA approved a revision of the World Anti-Doping Code in November 2019 after a two-year consultation process.