Athletes who test positive for recreational drugs out of competition will only receive a suspension of 1 to 3 months instead of 2 years, the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) announced.
These new rules concern only those substances that do not enhance an athlete’s performance and will come into force from 1 January 2021. Previously set at 2 years, sanctions will be reduced to 3 months unless athletes agree to follow a detoxification program, in which case sanction will reduce to 1 month.
If the athlete can establish that ingestion or consumption occurred out of competition and was not related to sports performance, then the period of ineligibility will be three months,” states the new WADA Code.
Maybe reduced to one month if the Athlete or other Person satisfactorily completes a drug treatment program approved by the Anti-Doping Organization.
The list of substances that fall into the category of “abusive substances” is currently in the process stages before its introduction on 1 January 2021 but is likely to include cannabis, except for CBD, which removed from the prohibited substances list in early 2018.
Other updates include the protection of whistleblowers and the inclusion of “aggravating circumstances” where athletes have committed multiple violations of the code. An athlete may be punished for one or more infractions, with cumulative sanctions, but also for trying to cover them up.