Consequences of doping

When athletes dope there are consequences, and these consequences can be wide-reaching – perhaps more than you thought. Not only is there a ban from all sport but they also affect an athlete's career and their personal life.

(1) Sanctions

An Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will lead to the following:

  • Disqualification of results in the event/competition during which the ADRV occurred (if applicable) and of results in competitions subsequent to the sample collection
  • A period ineligibility ranging from a warning to a lifetime ban from all sport.
  • Public Disclosure

Anti-Doping Rule Violations for athletes who are part of a team sport might lead to sanctions for the entire team. For example, the whole team may experience loss of points, disqualification from a competition or event, or other sanction.

An Athlete or other Person serving a period of Ineligibility is prohibited from coaching or serving as an Athlete Support Person in any other capacity at any time during the period of Ineligibility

It should also be noted that more and more public authorities and governments have adopted legislations that treat doping as a criminal act. Therefore, in addition to the suspension, an athlete or a support personnel or other persons may also face criminal charges in their country.

(2) Health

The use of drugs or medication without a medical need or medical advice are highly likely to put your health at risk.
When using banned substances there is an increased risk of:  

  • Substance dependency 
  • Addiction
  • Wider drug use and habits
  • Chronic illness
  • Side-effects
  • Behavior changes
  • Physiological changes that in the worst case can be irreversible
  • Psychological consequences such as depression, withdrawal, guilt/shame and loss of self-identity.

(3) Social Consequences

Social consequences such as isolation from the sport you dedicated your entire life and from your teammates with whom you may have shared great moments. This may also include the loss of heroine/hero status, a public embarrassment and a social exclusion.
Within family and friends, this may lead to damaged relationships, disappointment, and failure.

(4) Financial

An Anti-Doping Rule Violation may have financial impact on the individual like

  • Financial penalties
  • Loss of grants, funding from sport organisation (FINA or IOC) or from governments,
  • Loss of contracts or sponsorship

Source - Anti-Doping Education and Learning (wada-ama.org)