Consequences of Doping

(1) Health

The use of Performance-enhancing Drugs (PEDs) may have long- and short-term impact on the Athlete’s physical and mental health.

Depending on the substance, the dosage and the duration of use, some PEDs have been proven to have severe side effects and can cause irreversible damage to an Athlete’s body. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has outlined the negative impacts of several doping substances on their website.

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.

(2) Social

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.

(3) Sanctions

An Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will have an impact on an Athlete’s ability to train and compete. For coaches and other Athlete support personnel, a ban may mean that they are no longer able to work with Athletes. A sanction resulting from an ADRV can range from a warning to a lifetime ban from all sport.

It is also important to note that individuals banned in the sport will also be prohibited from competing, coaching or working with Athletes in any other capacity in a different sport.

Beyond the legal consequences, an increasing amount of public authorities and governments have adopted legislations that treat doping as a criminal act. Consequently, in addition to being ineligible to coach or compete, you may face criminal charges in your country. Depending on the National legislation and the degree of the violation, charges can lead to fines, social service requirements and even incarceration.

(4) Financial

A ban resulting from an Anti-Doping Rule Violation will have a significant financial impact on the individual. For Athletes, this includes, but is not limited to, the requirement to return prize money or a financial sanction imposed as a result of an ADRV. Other effects of doping include termination of contracts and sponsorship deals, loss of government funding and other forms of financial support.