The anti-doping organization (ADO) that initiated sample collection is responsible for results management.

The WADA-accredited laboratory that analyzes the A sample will report the results to the ADO responsible for results management and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

There are three possible results:

A Negative Result – No presence of prohibited substances or methods

An Atypical Finding – Some prohibited substances are produced naturally in the body (endogenous). The presence of such substances outside what is considered to be a normal range in the A sample may result in the laboratory reporting an atypical finding.

An Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) – The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers (including elevated quantities of endogenous substances) or evidence of the use of a prohibited method.

What happens if the A Sample produces a positive result?

If there is an AAF on the A sample, the ADO responsible for results management will conduct an initial review to verify if the athlete has a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the substance found in the sample, and to ensure that sample collection and analysis was conducted according to procedures.

If the initial review does not justify the AAF, the athlete will be notified in writing of the:

  1. (a) Sample analysis results
  2. (b) Possible consequences
  3. (c) Right to have the B sample analysed
  4. (d) Right to attend or appoint a representative to attend the analysis of the B sample

At this point, the athlete may be provisionally suspended according to the rules of the ADO.

What happens if the B Sample result confirms the A Sample result?

If the B Sample analysis confirms the adverse analytical finding in respect of the A Sample, then the matter shall proceed to a hearing by an independent anti-doping disciplinary panel. An athlete that is charged with an anti-doping rule violation has the right to a fair hearing.

The hearing process will address whether an anti-doping rule violation was committed and, if so, the appropriate consequences according to the anti-doping rules of the ADO.

What are the Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violations?

Sanctions for violating anti-doping regulations may range from a reprimand to a lifetime ban. The period of ineligibility may vary depending on the type of anti-doping violation, the circumstances of an individual case, the substance, and the possible repetition of an anti-doping rule violation.

For in-competition testing, this will also automatically include disqualification of results obtained in that competition, and forfeiture of any medals, points, and/or prizes. All results of any competitions following the collection of the sample may also be disqualified.

Athletes have the right to appeal any decisions made by the independent disciplinary panel or an alternative hearing body. Depending on the status of the athlete, the appeal may be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or an applicable Appeals body.

Other ADOs or WADA also have the right to appeal a decision regarding the case. In such an instance, the procedure remains the same and the athlete has the right to be heard during the proceedings.

Click here to download the Results Management, Hearings and Decisions Guidelines.