There are many risks associated with doping. From negative effects on mental and physical health, to loss of sponsorship or prize money, to permanent damage to an athlete’s image and relationships, it is important to understand and consider all consequences of doping. Below is a list of some of the common consequences of not competing clean.


The use of Performance-enhancing Drugs (PEDs) may have long- and short-term impacts on the athlete’s physical and mental health. Depending on the type of substance, the quantity in which it is used and how it is used, some PEDs have been proven to have severe side effects and can cause irreversible damage and/or chronic illness to an athlete’s body.

In addition to the physical aspects, scientific research has shown that there is a considerable correlation between the use of PEDs and mental health issues. Most commonly, it was found that the use of doping substances can trigger anxiety, obsessive disorders or psychosis.


Being associated with doping or a doping offence will have an impact on the person’s reputation and social relations. In the public view, athletes or other persons convicted of doping are often considered cheaters and experience many forms of stigma.Doping has a significant negative impact on the person’s private life and social interactions as people may feel that they no longer want to be connected to someone who has damaged the reputation of a sport and displayed poor judgement.


A ban resulting from an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will have a significant financial impact on the individual. For athletes and Athlete Support Personnel, this includes the requirement to return prize money or a financial sanction. Other negative consequences of doping include termination of contracts and sponsorship deals, loss of government funding, grants and other forms of financial support.


The consequences of an anti-doping rule violation may include the disqualification of results, the imposition of a period of ineligibility, mandatory publication of your violation and, perhaps, financial sanctions.


Ineligibility means exactly what it says – you cannot take part in any competition or the activities of an International Federation, its member national federations or their member clubs. This includes training with your club or team or using facilities that are linked with your club or team. 

Similarly, you cannot take part in any competitions authorized or organized by any of the other signatories of the Code (such as the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the National Olympic Committee) or their affiliated entities. 

Likewise, you cannot take part in any professional league or any international- or national-level event organization or any elite- or national-level sports activity funded by a governmental organization.

What you should know:

Q: How long is the period of ineligibility?

It may range from a reprimand to a life-time ban. 

For Anti-Doping Rule Violations of presence or use of a prohibited substance, the period of ineligibility is generally as follows:

  • If you intended to cheat, the period is 4 years;
  • Otherwise, it is 2 years – unless you can show that you had no significant fault no negligence, in which case ineligibility may be reduced to a minimum of one year;
  • If the violation involves a specified substance or a contaminated product, and you can establish No Significant Fault, ineligibility may range from 2 years to a reprimand, depending on your level of fault.

In case there are multiple Anti-Doping Violations and/or aggravated circumstances, the period of ineligibility may be more than 4 years up to a maximum of a life-time ban.

Q: What range of factors does the period of ineligibility depend upon?

The factors include (but is not limited to): the type of violation, the prohibited substance or method used, the nature of the athlete’s conduct and the athlete’s degree of fault.

Q: Can collaboration and ‘substantial assistance’ make a difference?

Yes. The Code recognizes that this is a special circumstance.

The cooperation of athletes and others who acknowledge their mistakes, and are willing to step forward to bring anti-doping violations to light, is essential to clean sport. 

A period of ineligibility may be reduced (by up to half of the otherwise applicable period) if an athlete voluntarily admits doping before the Anti-Doping Organization files notice of a rules violation and, at the time, that admission is the only reliable evidence of the misconduct – that is, he or she comes clean of his or her own volition. 

An athlete’s period of ineligibility may also be reduced significantly if he or she provides “substantial assistance” to an Anti-Doping Organization, police or prosecuting authority or professional disciplinary body that results in the Anti-Doping Organization bringing a new case against someone else (or discovering the possibility to do so). 

What is “substantial assistance”? It means fully disclosing, in writing, everything you know about doping by any person, including yourself. It also means fully cooperating with the authorities, including testifying at a hearing if that is required.


Automatic disqualification: 

In an individual sport, an anti-doping rule violation in connection with a competition (for instance, an individual match or race) automatically results in disqualification of the results of that competition.

Further Disqualification: 

Generally, results are disqualified retroactively – unless fairness requires otherwise – from the date of the anti-doping rule violation (for instance, the date of collection of the positive sample) until the commencement of any provisional suspension or ineligibility period.

What does Disqualification mean? It means loss of results, medals, points and prize money. Your results in other competitions in the same event – for example, the Olympic Games – may also be disqualified


Financial consequences may be imposed both on the Athlete and the National Federation for doping.

Financial sanctions can never replace or reduce a period of ineligibility.


If you are found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation, that fact will be made public. The idea is that this serves as an important deterrent to doping. 

An Anti-Doping Organisation, except in the case of a minor, publish the name of an athlete, the nature of the rules violation and the consequences within 20 days after a final ruling. If the final decision was that there was no violation, the decision may only be disclosed publicly with the consent of the athlete.