KEY ISSUES IN SPORTS LAW
WHAT WILL WE LEARN IN THIS MODULE?
1. THE ISSUE RELATING TO CORRUPTION IN SPORTS LAW
2. VIOLENCE IN SPORTS
3. CONCUSSION AND SECOND IMPACT SYNDROME
4. GAMBLING AND MANIPULATION IN SPORTS
5. SPORTS AND TECHNOLOGY
6. APPLICATION OF THE WADA CODE
7. THERAPEUTIC USE EXEMPTION
CORRUPTION IN SPORTS
“The idea of being shocked about bribery and racketeering in FIFA, is like
being shocked about jumping in the pool and getting wet.”
- Dave Zirin1
India is home to over 1.2 billion people and is an enterprising nation with abundant opportunities in
various fields. It is the birthplace of several internationally renowned sports and it is needless to
mention that India’s participation in various sports across the world are bringing laurels to the nation.
Not limiting it to participation in sports, India has become a key location for organization of sports
with big events such as the Cricket World Cup, Commonwealth Games, etc. being organized in the
past and widening the dimensions of the number of sports India excels in, U-17 Football World Cup is
set to be organized in India in 2017.
In the recent years, India has been a breeding ground for the initiation of a lot of activities in the field
of domestic and international sporting events. There is announcement of a new privately conducted
sports league almost twice in a year. With the onset of new sporting leagues, the amount of money
pumped into the sporting industry to conduct such events is also impressive. The sporting industry
recorded a growth from Rs. 43.7 billion in 2013 to Rs. 48 billion in 2015- mainly due to the emergence
of new sporting leagues according to CVL Srinivas, CEO of GroupM South Asia.2 The broadcasting
1 Dave Zirin, is an American political sportswriter. He is the sports editor for The Nation,
2 Sooraj Aurora, “India’s Growing Sports industry”, July 27, 2016 available at < http://thediplomat.com/2016/07/indias-
rights for IPL were purchased at Rs. 820 crores per and the BCCI is expecting to receive around Rs.
1600 crores in the upcoming years.3
The increase in the net worth of the sporting industry has proven that the contribution of the sports
industry to the economy has become similar to various other established sectors in India. The brand
value of IPL alone was estimated to be around US$3.5 billion4 and according to the BCCI, the 2015
IPL season contributed Rs. 1,150 crore to the gross domestic product of the Indian economy5.
The sporting industry has risen exponentially in terms of outreach and net worth. Appropriation of
money in great sizes calls for greater accountability, considering India is no stranger to integrity
challenges. The nation has had a deplorable track record in terms of weeding out the illicit activities
which harm public interest and hamper the growth and progress of sports in the nation. We have faced
multiple challenges relating to competition corruption which includes, crimes like doping, match
fixing, etc. and management corruption which happens on a greater scale, including unethical activities
like allocation of rights, scamming on money while organizing event by awarding contracts which are
personally beneficial in nature, etc.
Classification of Corruption
Hence, in a broad sense, corruption in sport can be classified in two types for better understanding, as
bifurcated by Prof. Wolfgang Maenning6:
a) Management Corruption: Management corruption deals with behavior by sporting officials who
consciously perform their allocated tasks in a manner at variance with the objectives and moral
values of the relevant club, association, competitive sports in general and/or society at large,
because they receive or expect pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage for themselves (or, in case
the person in question is acting as an agent: for a principal, e.g. acquaintances, relatives and/ or
associated sports institutions) from the person favored by the action (or their acquaintances,
relatives and/or associated sports institutions.)
3 Gaurav Laghate & Ravi Teja Sharma, “Not Feasible: BCCI expects broadcasters to pay Rs 16,000 crore as IPL fee”, June
16, 2016 available at < http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/media/entertainment/media/not-feasible-bcci-
4 American Appraisal, “On a Sticky Wicket, A Concise Report on brand values in the Indian Premier League”, April 2015
available at <http://american-appraisal.in/AA-Files/Images_IN/PDF/BrandValuesIPL_April2015.pdf>.
5 Venkat Ananth, “IPL 2015 contributed Rs 1,150 crore to India’s GDP: BCCI”, October 30, 2015 available at <
6 Prof. Wolfgang Maenning, “Corruption in international sports and how it may be combated”, August 2008 available at <
The various management decisions by sporting bodies and sports officials, which might result in
management corruption, pertain to:
• Host venues for important competitions,
• Allocation of rights (e.g. for television transmission),
• Nomination for positions (including honorary positions)
• Commissioning constructions works for sports arenas and other venues, as well as on the
other hand over
b) Competition Corruption: Competition corruption deals with behaviors by athletes who regain from
achieving the levels of performance normally required in the sport in question to win the
competition and instead intentionally permit others to win. It further involves activities by athletes
and/or those officials who have a direct responsibility for the outcome of a sporting contest.
The various competition corruption decisions, whereby the provider and the recipient of the bribes
• Athletes only
• Sporting officials and other non-athletes only (sometimes without the knowledge of the
• Athletes and officials
The kinds of activities that may be covered under competition corruption are:
• Match Fixing
• Points Shaving
This brings us to the seminal question of what is meant by corruption? Transparency International has
defined corruption as “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain.” The term corruption differs
from nation to nation, region to region, and sport to sport. However, the broadest interpretation of the
word would relate to commission of an act which is against the spirit of fairness, justice and the spirit
of sports, thereby denying equality in competition. The idea is to point out that the conception of
corruption is dynamic and shall depend upon various societal factors and reactions associated with the
Corruption in India
India’s sports industry has been steadily gaining ground, however, there still persists a problem of
adequate regulation of the industry. There is no central legislation which governs the management of
sporting associations and organization of such events. Due to the lack of a centrally recognized
association in every field, there has been irregularity in management and regulation of sports in the
country, and the industry has been plagued by widespread financial corruption. In the absence of a
regulation, certain case studies only in the Indian context have been mentioned below which highlight
the flagrant corruption and the scale at which it is being done:
1. Commonwealth Games Scam: The Commonwealth Games organized in India went through a
series of controversies, which ended up jeopardizing the event. India is a developing nation with a
large population, including most of them being poor yet billions of dollars were spent to pull off
the games, which was believed to be sub-standard in terms of organization and faced severe
criticism. Suresh Kalmadi headed the committee for organization of the Games and it was found
by multiple investigating authorities that huge sums of money were siphoned illicitly. Normally a
Commonwealth Village is created for the duration of the Games which has all the requisite
infrastructure, however some of the major venues were unconstructed till the eleventh hour, which
showed the lack of organization and inability of an entire nation to organize an event on a large
scale. The organization for the games wasn’t only criticized nationally, however even the athletes
who came to participate in the Games registered several complaints with regard to the
accommodation. The ticket sale was deplorable exactly before the event. Summarily, the Games
spawned a maze of corrupt deals, most of them involving inflated contracts.7 Suresh Kalmadi was
accused of handing out a INR 141-crore contract to Swiss Timing for its timing equipment- the
deal was inflated by INR 95 crores.8 Such poor organization severely hampered the performance
of the Indian sportspersons at the event.
2. IPL Betting and Spot Fixing: The roots of Indian Premiere League, which is believed to be the
biggest domestic sporting event in India, has been shaken by a stint of corrupt scandals and
financial irregularities. The first major financial irregularity was seen in 2010, when the BCCI
7 NDTV Correspondent, “Top 10 facts about Kalmadi’s Commonwealth Games scandal”, January 19, 2012 available at
8 NDTV Correspondent, “Top 10 facts about Kalmadi’s Commonwealth Games scandal”, January 19, 2012 available at
unearthed a financial scam where reportedly INR 76 crore worth tickets sales were missing.9
Further, the next major blow came to the event when the match fixing controversy took pace
during the 2013 edition. Three players, namely, Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were
arrested for being connected with fixing of matches. In the same year, Gurunath Meiyappan and
Vindu Dara Singh were also arrested with connection to betting and being connected to bookies.
Subsequently, two major teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from
participating in the IPL.10 Further, the Enforcement Directorate put Lalit Modi on notice for
allegedly scamming INR 1,700 crores across various editions of IPL.11 In this regard, the audience
started losing faith in the IPL as a professional unbiased event and took to be just another
fabricated piece of entertainment.
3. Match Fixing Scandal: The oldest of the case studies could be attributed to the year 2000 where a
series against South Africa was allegedly fixed. Mohammed Azharuddin, one of the faces of the
Indian cricket confessed to match fixing and further he also claimed that other cricketers like
Kapil Dev were also involved in such fixing. Another player, Ajay Jadeja was suspended for
fixing a match, for a period of 5 years. He wasn’t permitted to play international cricket. The then
South Africa captain, Hansie Cronje who was subsequently banned for life, fixed the tournament.
A major bookie, Sanjeev Chawla was believed to be involved with it was only arrested in 2016.12
This shows the deplorable state of ensuring speedy justice to those who’ve committed crimes
putting the country’s reputation at stake.
Corruption in other parts of the world
1. Salt Lake Winter Olympics Scandal 2002: The Salt Lake Winter Olympics took place in the
United States of America and it still gets media coverage for all the wrong reasons. The Olympics
witnessed management and competition corruption. Investigations by the United States
9 Agencies: Indian Express, “IPL 3: BCCI unearths new financial scam, Rs 76 crore in ticket sales reportedly missing”
September 27, 2010 available at < http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/ipl-3-bcci-unearths-new-financial-scam-rs-
10 Correspondent: BBC India, “IPL Scandal: Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals suspended”, July 14, 2015
available at < http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33517583>.
11 Press Trust of India, “Lalit Modi to be put on notice for Rs 1,700 crore IPL Scam”, July 16, 2015 available at
12 Mahender Singh Manral, “ Bookie in 2000 match-fixing scandal help in UK, London wants assurance on Delhi jail
quality”, September 14, 2016 available at <http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/bookie-in-2000-match-fixing-
government and the International Olympic Committee soon revealed that the Salt Lake Organising
Committee (SLOC) had doled out cash gifts, college scholarships, medical treatment and lavish
vacations to IOC members both before and after the Salt Lake bid was accepted. In the end, four
officials were forced to resign as well as two top executives of the SLOC.13 This was the case of
management corruption. Further, there was also a case of competition corruption wherein there
was an allegation of collusion amongst the judges due to which dual gold medals were awarded in
pairs in figure skating to the Canadian team represented by Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, and to
the Russian team represented by Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.
2. FIFA World Cup Qatar Bid Controversy: Qatar bid to host the FIFA World Cup in the year
2022, however it has come under scanner and controversy and FBI has instituted an investigation
for bribery and corruption. In the light of such investigation, the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter
resigned. Sepp Blatter, in his capacity of being a President has time and again endorsed the bid of
an Arab nation to host a football, focusing on Qatar in specific. In order to save costs on
construction and infrastructure, the Organising Committee hired workers from Nepal. An
investigation was carried to understand the alleged deplorable state of Nepalese workers, they
found evidence suggesting thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of
laborers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by
the International Labour Organisation.14 There are certain allegations of bribery on the part of two
FIFA Executive Committee members, which are unproven. These were certain well-rooted
allegations which could lead to Qatar being stripped off the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in
Domestic and International Legislation to curb corruption in sports
Domestic Legislation: India has faced the brunt of multiple scams and scandals in domestically and
internationally organized sporting activities. This could be majorly attributed to the lack of an
appropriate authorized body which governs a particular sport. Although there are Associations which
regulate the conduct of a particular sport in the country, however most of them haven’t been enacted
by a Statute or aren’t bodies regulated or created by the State. Multiple associations have been brought
into existence under the Societies Registration Act. The National Sports Code was proposed in 2011 to
13 The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, “Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games”, March 17, 2010 available at <
14 Pete Pattisson, “Revealed: Qatar’s World Cup ‘slaves’”, September 25, 2013 available at
compile all the circulars, notifications, orders and instructions given post-2011 in order to avoid clash
of directions. The 2011 Draft Sports Bill was tabled next before the Parliament was first such attempt
to enact a law to tackle the issues of accountability and systematize the sporting bodies and
organization of events domestically, and sending contingents internationally. Unfortunately, the Bill
did not pass and hence, it was redrafted with certain changes, under the Chairmanship of Justice
Mudgal and was presented in 2013. However, the Bill failed to be enacted even in 2013. Chapter IX of
draft seemed to be a bone of contention, which spoke about the mandatory applicability of Right to
Information Act over all the sports associations of the country. The Bill sought to set up Appellate
Tribunals for speedy disposal of cases, considering that the limited time a sportsperson has to
participate in the requisite sport and reach its pinnacle, considering fitness is an essential which is at its
peak only till a particular age.
Following this, the Lodha Committee Recommendations could be seen as a case of judicial activism,
wherein the judiciary recommended certain necessary structural changes to the composition of the
Board of Cricket Control in India. It could be termed as a landmark judgment, which signifies the
gravity of the unregulated sporting bodies and events in the country, and corruption which directly
stems out of it.
On a global level, the United Nations has formulated a Convention against Corruption, on the basis of
which the UNODC has published a handbook on good practices, for prevention of corruption in
organization of major public events, including major sports events. The handbook highlights the
unique corruption risks associated with the organization of major public events due to the involvement
of significant resources, large amounts of funds and complex logistical arrangements within tight time
Apart from the aforementioned Convention, there has been no real development in terms of drafting a
unified all-encompassing document which specifically strikes at the root of corruption in sports. There
can be no straight-jacketed way in which corruption can be prevented in specific sports. Legislation
can try and tackle the concept of managerial corruption but dealing with competition corruption by the
way of legislation would make such progress unduly rigid, and attract a lot of loopholes.
In this regard, a central body internationally regulates each sport, for instance, Federation
Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulates football and International Cricket Council
15 United Nations Global Impact, “Fighting corruption in sport sponsorship and hospitality: A pratical guide for
companies”, 2014 available at <https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/Anti-
(ICC) regulates cricket. These bodies, over time have also developed certain codes and ethics of
organizing and participating in such events. Each internationally acclaimed sport has its own set of
rules or codes or ethics which are to be honoured in order to be associated with the sport. Football is
governed by an independent Ethics Committee which is primarily responsible for infringement of
FIFA Code of Ethics. It functions by two sub bodies, the investigatory chamber and the adjudicatory
Cricket on the other hand, has always been the ‘gentlemen’s game’ and hence the traditions have
primarily been codified by the ICC in the form of Code of Conduct which is also enforced by the ICC.
Similarly, other sports are governed by similar Code of Conduct, depending upon the tradition and the
requirement of the sport.
VIOLENCE IN SPORTS
By the very virtue of the word, violence seems to be something that is best prevented. However
various sports are based on violence, and such aggression is acceptable, despite not being accepted in a
civilized society. If you punch somebody and make him unconscious, it will attract certain trouble,
whereby you may be asked to compensate a person or even be sent to jail. However, if you punch
somebody unconscious in a boxing right, your act of aggression will be applauded and there will be
not repercussions under normal circumstances.
We’ve seen violence around us in the society, in the form of war, shoot-out, fistfights, video games,
television, movies, etc. Sometimes, we often end up glorifying these acts of violence, for instance
murdering an antagonist in a video game. It often doesn’t cross the boundary. In this regard, there are
certain sports which are inherently aggressive in nature. They aren’t supposed to cross a particular
limit of aggression, but in order to bring out kind of show that the spectator would want to see, the line
is sadly often crossed. Some sportspersons often use violent strategies and tactics to scare or intimidate
the opposite player, which is not strictly according to the rules of the game. When do we differentiate
between what is unacceptable societal violence and what is permissible violence/aggression in sports?
Terry and Jackson have defined violence in sports to be “ behavior which causes harm, occur outside
the rules of the sport, and is unrelated to the competitive object of the sport”.16 Coakley, who defined it
to be “the use of excessive physical force, which cause of has the potential to cause harm or
destruction”, pitched in another conception.17
The definition aims to distinguish between what would constitute crossing of subtle boundaries
between acceptable and unacceptable aggression in sports. However, certain heinous crimes are treated
alike, whether they take place on a street or on a cricket pitch. Consent plays an important role in
determining the essential boundary which is created by aggression in sport, and if an act is done
against such consent, it spills over and would be categorized as a crime, being against the societal
norms. Hence, sports is not a jail-free card which allows a person to cause anarchy, or commit an act
beyond the rules or what the other party has consented to. However, the aforementioned boundaries
can readjust from time-to-time, depending upon the societal norms and traditions.
We touched upon an important determinant which allows aggression in a sport: consent. Such consent
determines the degree of violence or aggression which may be perpetrated in a sport. However, this
16 Terry P.C. & Jackson J.J., “The determinants and control of violence in sport”, 1985 available at
17 Jay Coakley, “Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies” (2004).
consent is not solely shaped by the will of the participating athlete, it also depends on the acceptable
standard of the society. The point of extent of aggression or violence consented is often a debatable
point, and normally, it is governed by the rules and ethics of a particular sport. Punching is essential to
boxing and is allowed, hence the degree of violence consented to, is higher in boxing as opposed to
football, where the same is not consented to considering that punching is not an essential to play the
sport. In boxing itself, punching in below the belt is prohibited, thereby signifying that nobody can
consent to being punched below the belt.
Originating points of violence in sports
There are two kind of violence in sports, in sport violence and off sport violence. Further there are two
entities that might be responsible for perpetuating violence or aggression in sports and the bifurcation
is mentioned below:
1) Participant Violence: It refers to the unacceptable standard of aggression/ violence displayed by
an athlete. Normally, the degree of liability committed off-sport would be more than in-sport, if
the extent of aggression is similar.
There are various causes which might lead to participant violence which have been briefly
I. Decision (adjudication): The participants, participating in a sport may get frustrated with
the adjudication or the decision making of the referee. They might consider bias as an
important factor which might make the violence creep into the sport. Often, there might be
bad officiating which would result in unfavourable or unpredictable decisions.
II. Emotions: The hype created around that particular event determines the intensity of
emotions of a player. For instance, a final match would be more emotionally challenging
than an ordinary league match considering the stakes. It might be due to the tension in the
stadium which would determine the mental status of the players.
III. Rivalry: The level of tension in an event between rival competitors is often high. In case
of a local derby, there is a lot of tension, as the spectators often end up supporting one of
the two teams and there isn’t a middle ground. Team loyalty affects the amount of violence
which might be perpetrated. The display of loyalty by the spectators might influence or
arouse the interests of the players.
IV. Result: There is often a change where the players accept that the result is not going to be
in their favor and end up acting aggressively. This happens due to the fact that they don’t
fear the consequence considering the result is not going to change.
V. Provocation: A player might be provoked by multiple agents. Other players might sledge
his/her to lower her morale in the game or the crowd maybe hostile and do the same. It
often ends up in retaliation, which although might be morally justified to an extent, but is
VI. Religion: Religion among other cultural reasons may be an important determinant in
aggravation of violence on the sporting arena. Often there are clashes between teams on
the basis of religion or races or other cultural reasons.
VII. Intoxication: Performance enhancing drugs sometimes lead to increased aggression. There
might be a possibility that there is instant arousal from drug or steroid use which would
cause violence by a person.
VIII. Importance of the event: It depending upon the intensity and the stakes involved in an
event. The more important the event, the higher the tension and higher the changes of more
aggression/ violence being displayed.
2) Spectator Violence: It refers to the aggressive/ violent act caused by a person not directly taking
part in the sporting event. The causes for the occurrence of the same are mentioned below:
I. Emotional attachment: It further depends on the emotional intensity of the spectators,
which is often determined by the pre-match hype created or the importance of a particular
event for instance, the emotional intensity would be more in rival or derby fixtures.
II. Provocation: Often the spectators are abused or provokes by the opponents. These
opponents might be the players on the pitch or the crowd of the opposing team.
III. Frustration with decisions: The spectators similar to the players might be frustrated by
the decisions made by the match officials which may incite them to perpetrate violence.
IV. Lack of a control system: Due to the lack of a control mechanism, or lack of adequate
check, the spectators may often commit violence without the fear of being stopped or
V. Intoxication: Often the spectators are under the influence on intoxicating substances
which leads to loss of control and they might end up perpetrating unacceptable violence by
not being fully in control of Black September
their senses. Example:
VI. Religion: The religious A uniquely violent incident that is beyond the
beliefs of a particular player realms of ordinary violence was observed in 1972
or the club or the supporters during the Summer Olympics in West Germany.
cause violence in the same It was a specifically targeted attack against the
manner as it would, in case Israeli contingent wherein 11 Israel Olympic
of players. Team members were taken in hostage and were
eventually killed. The attack was believed to be
VII. Overcrowding: motivated by secular nationalism carried out by 8
Overcrowding at an arena terrorists backed by neo-Nazi Germans. It
might often cause violence remains one of the darkest and unrepeated
due to poor crowd incidents in the history of Olympics Games
management and spectator provision. It might result in unintentional aggression of
violence due to poor policing.
VIII. Peer pressure: Peer
pressure often leads to
loss of individual
identity which would
lead to diminished
crowd. The violence
simulated such is often
without any repercussion and goes undetected.
Solutions to tackle violence
The modes of committing violence have evolved over time and hence there has been an evolution of
the rules and procedures governing the same. Overtime the punishments for violence has escalated,
which could be seen from the way recent offenders of the rules have been treated. Luis Suarez, who
plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League, was banned for 10 matches after allegedly biting a
player from the opposite team. The sportsperson is not only penalized by the body governing such
sport, but might also be dropped from the team he is currently a part of.
Often, the violence goes undetected and to tackle such incidents, technology has started playing an
essential role. Role of technology shall be discussed in depth in the upcoming topics. Technology has
created an impact by assisting the match officials and the referees to make correct just decisions. The
Goal line technology in football is one such example.
Further, violence originating from the crowd also needs to be controlled. In that regard, there is a
necessity for better crowd management in terms of better security measures and better facilities in the
stadium. There ideally should be appropriate media coverage to reduce the chances of a ruckus being
CONCUSSION AND SECOND IMPACT SYNDROME
Concussion is a sudden-onset, transient alteration of consciousness due to a combination of functional
and structural brain disturbances following a physical impact transmitted to the brain. It is a common,
although an underreported, condition encountered in a wide range of sports. When left undetected,
concussion can go on to be to result in a long-term brain problem and may even prove to be fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of visits to
hospital emergency departments for sports- and recreation-related concussions increased 62%, from
153,375 to 248,418, in persons 19 years or younger.18 Although it has been widely believed that
athletes are fit to return to play when observed symptoms resolve, researchers are also examining the
possible prolonged effects of concussion, subconcussive impacts, and repeated concussions on
cognitive difficulties, emotional disturbances, depression, and behavioral issues as well as chronic or
recurring physical symptoms, such as headache.19
Concussion is often trivialized by being called a minor head injury or a knock to the head. However, a
concussion is more serious than that and might have disastrous impacts. It is more serious that a
normal head injury and as already mentioned, might jeopardize the life of an individual. Concussion is
widely underreported primarily in sports because the sportspersons are themselves uninformed about
the symptoms of concussion. They might also not report it due to the considerable pressure that the
sportspersons have from outside to continue performing well, and the detection of a health issue would
negatively impact their professional and financial status, having adverse consequences on the player
and the team. A fiction example could be the movie ‘Goal’ wherein the protagonist tried to conceal his
asthma condition due to the fear of being dropped out of the team.
18 Gilchrist J., Thomas KE, Xu L, McGuire LC & Coronado VG, “Nonfatal sports and recreational related traumatic brain
injuries among children and adolescents treated in emergency departments in the United States”. October 7, 2011, available
at < http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6039a1.htm>.
19 Michael B Clay, Karl L Glover & Duane T. Lowe, “Epidemiology of concussion in sport: a literature review”,
December, 2013 available at < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838722/>.
Evaluation and inspection of concussion
There are various types of evaluations to determine when a person should return back to the ground. A
few of them have been mentioned below20:
1. Initial on-field assessment: On-field concussion is evaluated by the team’s physician who is
responsible to determine the status by medical evaluation, following the standard emergency
management principles such as airway, breathing, circulation, and level of consciousness. It has
been seen that the player may not be aware about the fact that he/ she has concussed, may not
have any overt sign of concussion, or may minimize or hide symptoms in order to return to the
game. The player must be taken to the sidelines for appropriate evaluation of his/her condition and
if he/she is diagnosed with a concussion, he/she should not be allowed to play on the day of the
2. Postural stability testing: Postural instability in concussed athletes is a common observation
based on both on-field and more sophisticated off-field testing. This particular deficit,
inadequately assessed by a simple Romberg test, is most apparent when athletes are subjected to
vestibular system testing on foam or a mobile tilting surface, and generally resolves within 3-10
days post injury. Errors during any part of the testing include stumbling or falling, opening eyes,
lifting hands off the iliac crests, impermissible hip or foot posturing, or remaining out of a testing
position for more than 5 seconds.
3. Neuropsychological test: Neuropsychological testing in sports concussion is a mandatory part of
the assessment, focusing particularly on the player’s attention, working memory and speed of
information processing. Over the last decade, there has been a move away from the traditional
paper and pencil testing administered by clinicians towards computerized testing that can be
administered by appropriately trained and supervised technicians.
4. Electrophysiology: Whereas neuropsychological tests assess overt verbal and motor responses,
focal EEG in the form of event-related potential (ERP) recording assesses the physiological or
electrical integrity of parts of the brain based on responses to a repetitive stimulus, typically an
auditory or visual one. The technology is non-invasive, objective, relatively inexpensive, and can
be deployed and used within 20 minutes.
5. Biomedical Imaging: It refers to the technique and process of creating visual images of of the
interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of
the function of some organs or tissues. Most studies utilised fMRI paradigms based on visual
20 Vini J Khurana & Andrew H. Kaye, “An overview of concussion in Sport”, January, 2012 available at <http://www.jocn-
and/or verbal working memory tasks administered within 3 months of the concussion or between
3 months and 3 years of the concussion.
The player, after the first concussion is prone to increased risk of another concussion within 7-10 days
of the initial concussion. The key short-term complications of a sports concussion are related to a brain
injury that may be evolving from the time of impact to the minutes or hours thereafter. Such injuries
may include cerebral contusions and expanding intraaxial and extra axial collections such as
extradural, subdural and intracerebral hematomas, which may co-exist with injuries to the skull and
The Curious case of Chris Benoit Long-term complications
A concussion has been identified as a
The ones who are familiar with WWE would problem which might lead to a chronic
fondly remember Chris Benoit. He has 22 titles to depression, and a potential risk factor for
his name and also holds the privilege of being a a primitive depression of Alzheimer’s
two-time world champion. disease and Parkinson’s syndrome.
However, when all was seemingly well, he compared with retired players with no
murdered his wife and son and subsequently history of concussion, retired players
committed suicide in 2007. Debates were sparked reporting one or two concussions were
trying to locate the reason behind such peculiar 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed
behavior. Some attributed it to use of steroids and with depression, while those reporting
other performance enhancement drugs, while some three or more concussions were three
thought it was an excessive drinking problem. times more likely to be diagnosed with
Examination of his brain led to the discussion of
brain trauma in professional athletes. His doctors,
in layman’s terms said that he had a brain of an
eighty year old, when he was 40 years old! He had
sustained lasting injuries to every section of his
brain and is considered to be one of the most severe
cases of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy that
examiners had ever seen.
21Vini J Khurana & Andrew H. Kaye, “An overview of concussion in Sport”, January, 2012 available at < http://www.jocn-
Second Impact Syndrome
An athlete who is recovering from a concussion, but has not completely recovered, is at a greater risk
of a second impact syndrome. A sportsperson might be facing post-concussion symptoms such as
headache, blurred vision, mental difficulty, etc. and if in this process, there is another blow which
further triggers/ aggravates these symptoms, might result in a second-impact syndrome.
The second blow may be unremarkable, perhaps only involving a blow to the chest that jerks the
athlete's head and indirectly sends accelerating forces to the brain. Affected athletes may appear
stunned, but do not suffer loss of consciousness (LOC) and often complete the play. They usually
remain alert on their feet for 15 seconds to 1 minute or so but seem dazed. Often, affected athletes
remain on the playing field or walk off under their own power. Usually within seconds to minutes of
the second impact, the athlete- conscious but stunned, suddenly collapses to the ground, semi
conscious with rapidly diluting (widening) pupils and loss of an eye movement and stops breathing.23
Any athlete who still shows signs of concussion should not be allowed to return to play. Such signs
include fatigue, headache, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, feeling “in a fog” or “slowed down,” as
well as other differences from a patient’s baseline.24
22 Guskiewicz KM, Marshall SW, Bailes J, McCrea M, Harding HP Jr, Matthews A, Mihalik JR & Cantu RC, “Recurrent
concussion and risk of depression in retired professional football players”, June 2007 available at
23 Lindsey Barton Straus, “Second Impact Syndrome: A rare But Usually Fatal Condition”, May 21, 2015 available at
24 Cantu RC, “Recurrent athletic head injury: risks and when to retire”, July 2003 available at
GAMBLING AND MANIPULATION IN SPORTS
The manipulation of sports competitions is defined as:
“An intentional arrangement, act or omission aimed at an improper alteration of the result or the course
of a sports competition in order to remove all or part of the unpredictable nature of the aforementioned
sports competition with a view to obtaining an undue advantage for oneself or for others.”25
Any sporting event is based on the principle of uncertainty and fairness in terms of competition, where
the result of an event is not pre-decided. However, the competition is manipulated when there is
unethical and improper fixing/ influencing of the course of the result of an event for advantage. Such
manipulation of result doesn’t only signify a breach of sporting rules and promote unfair competition,
but it has certain wide-reaching impacts. “A criminal justice response against match-fixing would
demonstrate that sporting manipulation is not a ‘simple’ breach of sporting rules, but also an offence
against the public in a broader sense.”26
There are two principal types of competition manipulation27:
1. For sporting purposes: Where the manipulation is perpetrated to provide a sporting advantage,
for example in league promotion/relegation or a perceived advantageous competition draw or any
other sporting advantage;
2. For financial gain through betting: Where the manipulation is designed to pre-determine an
event related to the competition that is expected to be offered on the betting markets (results, total
25 Directorate of Human Dignity and Equality: Sports Division, “Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions
(Macolin Conventions)”, September 16, 2016 available at <http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/sport/Match-fixing/T-
26 UNODC & IOC, “Criminalisation approaches to combat match-fixing and illegal/irregular betting: a global perspective.
Comparative Study on the Applicability of Criminal Law Provisions Concerning Match-Fixing and Illegal/ Irregular
Betting”, July, 2013 available at < www.unodc.org/documents /corruption/Publications
27 Interpol & IOC, “Handbook on Protecting Sport From Competition Manipulation”, May, 2016 available at
goals scored etc.). This type of manipulation includes the risk of being used by professional
criminals to launder money through sports bets.
Although the manipulators are incentivized to commit fraud and corruption in sport for financial gains,
there are other factors which might contribute to the commission of such offences28:
1. Whether the salary of the athlete/official has been paid;
2. Addiction (drugs, sex, alcohol);
3. Excessive gambling and gambling debts;
4. Bad sports results and lack of recognition and reward;
5. Pressure, opportunity and rationalization:
6. Living beyond personal income and high personal debt;
7. Desire for personal progression, greed, naivety of the target, unfulfilled ambition;
8. Pressure from family and friends to succeed;
9. ‘Fluid moral values’ and a desire to challenge and/or abuse the ‘system’.
With the onset of various domestic and international sporting leagues in the world, gambling and
manipulation of sports has found its Gambling Regulations in India
way to the grass-root level of sports.
Here are certain factors which Gambling in India is regulated by the Public
incentivize criminals to take interest in Gambling Act 1867, which differentiates between a
sports29: ‘game of skill’ and a ‘game of chance’. Betting is
1. High profit and low risk; allowed on games of skill, and the concept has been
2. Anonymity; elucidated upon by the Supreme Court in the case of
3. Exploitation of easy targets (naive K.R. Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu where it is
said that a game of skill is one in which success
sports people, absence of effective primarily depends on superior knowledge, training,
sport regulations and their attention, experience and adroitness of the player.
implementation); The law however is still vague and seemingly arbitrary
4. Absence of consistent legislation upon such determination. Rummy, a kind of poker is
and powers; considered a game of skill but Texas Hold’em, another
5. Ineffective supervision and kind of poker, isn’t considered to be a game of skill
regulation of gambling; and hence betting on it is not permissible.
The Government has come up with the Information
28 W. Steve Albrecht, Keith R. Howe & Marshall BT. eRcohmnnoelyo, g“yDeAtecrrti,n2g0fr0a0udw: hthiechintseerneaklsautoditmora’skpeertshpeecItinvtee”r, n19e8t4
available at < http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/19067711?q&versionId=22392868>.
Service Providers liable for letting the users access
29 Interpol & IOC, “Handbook on Protecting Sport From Competition Manipulation”, May, 2016 available at
<https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Lbibertatriyn/OglwymepbisciOtergs/IiOnCI/nWdhiaat.-WSeu-cDho/aPrsotteecptinhga-Cs lmeaan-de it more
MAtahnleipteusl/aBtieotnti.npgd/fE>d. ucation-Awareness-raising/Interpdoilf-fIiOcCu-lHt anfdobrookI-nond-iParnotsectitnog-Sgpaormt-fbrolem-Coonmlipneteit,ionw- hich is
6. Criminal organisations (CO) have become transnational (TCO);
7. Limited law enforcement experience;
8. Internet has no borders meaning police investigations are difficult and allows TCOs to use all the
possibilities of the financial markets and tax havens.
Gambling in India
The betting market in India is worth Rupees 300,000 crores and the possible revenue that the
government stands to earn out of it, is around Rupees 12,000 to Rupees 19,000 crores.30 The Indian
regime on gambling is regulated. Betting is prohibited on a game of chance but not on a game of skill.
Gambling is hence different from betting, considering that calculated risk is expected to be undertaken
while betting, however gambling primarily entails uncalculated risk, the result of which is not
dependent upon the skills required in a game.
Betting has been partially accepted but several challenges still hamper the complete acceptance of
betting. Social contract is one such factor which deters people from accepting gambling and betting in
a liberal manner. There is certain social disapproval surrounding the activity, which mainly arises from
the mindset that gambling and betting are and have been criminal activities, generally having
devastating effects on people of all age categories, across various economic classes. It is believed that
gambling and betting is the first step which eventually leads to manipulation of sports, thereby
damaging the sanctity of fair competition in a sport.
However, gambling and betting do have certain benefits from the perspective of an economy, on a
1. Reduce match fixing: Any surprising betting settlement on a compare is reported by a betting
user to authorities and teams for evident action. If unusual betting patterns are noticed, a betting
routine on a compare can be voided (cancelled).
2. Generate tax revenue for government: Despite ban on betting in India it is thriving in a big way
and the Government is losing revenue in the form of taxes and the continuous investment in
curbing it is not reaping the desired results. The biggest advantage will be there will be burden for
30 FICCI, “Regulating Sports Betting in India- A vice to be tamed?”, June 6, 2012 available at
31 FICCI, “Regulating Sports Betting in India- A vice to be tamed?”, June 6, 2012 available at
a vast amount of income eliminated by bootleg channels heading to rebate in cases of match-
fixing, money-laundering and crimes.
3. Social Benefits: India already has examples of states like Sikkim and Goa that use gambling as a
means of generating income. They encourage it as a way of creating tax and providing
employment and social improvement for their populations.
In this regard, it has been said that betting and gambling on sports should ideally be regulated, thereby
enabling greater accountability for large amounts of money transferred through channels where they
are accounted for. With better regulation, there would be a fairer and better gambling system in place
thereby ensuring that the experience of entertainment is controlled.
SPORTS AND TECHNOLOGY
From the initial days of when technology was introduced in sports, we’ve come a long way from
enabling people around the world to spectate sports halfway across the globe to using technology to
improve performance, fair play and decision making in almost all sports. There are two opposite
prongs to the debate regarding the utility of using technology in sports. On one side, the use of
technology has aforementioned benefits such as fair play and correct decision making which makes the
sport more enjoyable to spectate and on the other hand, it slows down the speed of the game, breaking
the pace, moreover the unethical use of technology has also raised several eyebrows, questioning the
positive impact that the technology has had over sports. Over the course of this topic, we shall discuss
the impact technology has had over sports, analyzing the positive and negative aspects thereto.
Impact on Performance in Sport “Faster, Higher, Stronger?”
The use of technology in sport was most
recently made in large number in the Rio The Olympics Motto reads, ‘Faster, Higher,
Paralympics. The development of technology Stronger”, however technological advances
in Paralympics has not only improved the have often been resisted on the grounds that the
performance of participants, but has also Olympics seeks to promote fair competition.
enabled more participants to compete The full-body swimsuits caught attention of the
considering that technology has improved public at 2000 Summer Olympic Games. By the
overtime and has accommodated the severe use of those swimsuits, the performance of the
disabled conditions of people, thereby swimmers dramatically improved. Around 43
providing them with sufficient opportunity to records were broken in 40 events in the 2009
participate. Until the Rio Paralympics, most World Swimming Championship and 130
visually impaired swimmers were guided by records broken in less than a year.
sound, physical support staff, tappers or foam- Subsequently, the usage of such full body
tipped rods to navigate the pool. However, swimsuits was banned. However, the swimmers
High tech swim caps were used which enabled who created such records were allowed to
the coach to send vibration signals informing maintain them, putting the future generations
the swimmers about when they need to turn at at a disadvantage.
the end of the lane.
Another instance of the positive impact that technology has had over sport is the usage of Smart
Helmets in NFL (National Football League, USA) and NHL (National Hockey League, USA and
Canada). Concussions in the sport had started ruining the careers of sportspersons. Not only the
impact, but also the non-disclosure of such concussion and improper information on the injury were
also considered as important factors to be considered. The Smart Helmets were a product of a suit filed
by former NFL players in the backdrop of the league’s failure to protect the players properly and
concealing of knowledge about the long-term effects from concussions.32 The Helmet has new sensor
and magnetic technology which might help in reduction of risk of brain injury. The magnet doesn’t
only help in detection, but it also helps in absorption of the force. Smart helmets have the potential to
revolutionize the sports world. Despite these helmets only being created for the NFL thus far, once the
technology is finalized, it can be broadened for other sports that carry a high-risk of traumatic brain
injuries: hockey, snowboarding, skiing, rugby, lacrosse, and so on. Not only could these helmets
improve sports by keeping players in the game, but, ultimately, it could help save lives.33
Greek runner Michail Seitis set a world record for his division with a time of 49.66 seconds in the
men's 400-meter final on Thursday. He came in sixth place out of eight runners. The five who finished
ahead of him were double amputees.34 Technology has although made the participants better off in
terms of participation, however better usage of such technology in terms of better policy formulation
and implementation is necessary. Double amputees clearly have had a better change at winning races
than single amputees, which signifies the need for creation of different categories of competitions.
Using the technology by putting all the participants in the same pool, in a straightjacketed manner
would only display inequality and unfairness in competition making some more equal than the others.
Impact on Gameplay
Technology has widely assisted referees and umpires to improve fair decision making over a period of
time but has also been criticized for reducing the pace of the game thereby making a game less
interesting to spectate. Instant replay system is the most used piece of technology across all the sports,
enabling the referees to refer to the clip and make the right call. In cricket, the third umpire who
communicates with the umpires on the field and often adjudicates upon such on-field disputes
32 Shayna Goldman, “The 5 Most Important Ways Technology Forever Changed Sports in 2014”, January 1, 2015
33 Shayna Goldman, “The 5 Most Important Ways Technology Forever Changed Sports in 2014”, January 1, 2015
34 Garrett Ross, “Technology at Rio 2016 Paralympics sparks advances and controversy”, September 19, 2016 available at
< http://mashable.com/2016/09/19/rio-paralympics-tech-controversy/#j82RjTx9.qqD >.
normally performs the task. The Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket has attracted
mixed emotions from various stakeholders. In 2011, the ICC initially made the System compulsory for
all the matches, but later it was made optional thereby depending upon the consent of the competing
teams. Former umpire Dickie Bird has stated that it undermined the authority of the umpires on field.
The Indian team was skeptical of adopting a system that was near perfect, and Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan
criticized the system saying that the system showing the deviation of the ball from the line more than it
The Hawk eye technology has been well accepted in certain sports, but hasn’t been completely
accepted in sports like cricket as already mentioned. Tennis has made use of the technology by
establishing a line review system, reviewing the contentious line calls. Similarly, football has made use
of the technology to determine offside positions in the game and to determine, in contested, whether
the ball has crossed the goal line.
Impact on Commerciality and Popularity of a Sport
In the recent years, sports have been spectated throughout the world, although when they are simulated
in only a particular region. National Hockey League, simulated in USA and Canada has fans across the
globe. Digital Media and online streaming has taken the benefit of internet and has made sports more
accessible in absence of televisions. Sochi Olympic coverage was more extensive than ever before in
2014. If a viewer was unable to watch on the television, but had a cable provider, there was full
coverage through NBC on both NBC.com and NBC Sports LiveExtra.35 The 2014 Sochi Olympic
Games eclipsed the Vancouver Games by 29 per cent. 36
However, such widespread media coverage isn’t necessarily a boon. Although it improves the
popularity and accessibility of a sport, but it still impedes the commercial success of a sport at a very
grass root level. There is a constant problem of declining ticket sales across the National Football
League in USA. The increased price of the ticket deters people from spectating the matches in
stadiums and on the same hand; the decreased rates of a flat-screen television ensure that the TV
ratings are incredible. It not only affect the commerciality of the team which owns the stadium, but
also damages the stadium experience. There might be a requirement for certain regulation on the
amount of content that could be publicized on digital media, or as Star Sports did in India, while
directing the audience to their website for online live streaming, it delayed the online live coverage
35 Shayna Goldman, “The 5 Most Important Ways Technology Forever Changed Sports in 2014”, January 1, 2015
36 Shayna Goldman, “The 5 Most Important Ways Technology Forever Changed Sports in 2014”, January 1, 2015
which ran 5 minutes slower than the coverage on TV, thereby still encouraging people to spectate it on
Television. A similar model could be established to cope up with the difficult of declining ticket sales.
APPLICATION OF THE WADA CODE
The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules
and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world. It works in
conjunction with five International Standards which aim to foster consistency among anti-doping
organizations in various areas: testing; laboratories; Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs); the List of
Prohibited Substances and Methods; and the protection of privacy and personal information.37
This unified approach addresses problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated
anti-doping efforts, including, among others: a scarcity and splintering of resources required to
conduct research and testing; a lack of knowledge about specific substances and procedures being used
and to what degree; and an inconsistent approach to sanctions for those athletes found guilty of
Salient Features of WADA Code and the changed made in the 2015 revised Code
The World Anti-Doping Code was first adopted in 2003, took effect in 2004, and was then amended
effective 1 January 2009. The most recent change was made when the document incorporated
revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code that were approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency
Foundation Board in Johannesburg, South Africa on 15 November 2013. The revised 2015 World
Anti-Doping Code is effective as of 1 January 2015.
We shall be focusing on the changes proposed in the revised 2015 WADA Code in order to discuss its
implementation in the current context.
The key thematic changes made in the revised 2015 WADA Code39 are:
1. Differentiated Treatment Based on the Type of Substance Banned In-Competition in the
Definition of “Intentional”: The revised WADA Code states the conditions determining severity
of the sanction upon the intentional character of the anti-doping rule violation (Article 10.2). The
37 World Anti-Doping Agency, “The Code” 2015 available at < https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/the-code>.
38 World Anti-Doping Agency, “The Code” 2015 available at < https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/the-code>.
39 Prof. Dr. Antonio Rigozzi, Marjolaine Viret & Emily Wisnosky, “Latest Changes to the 2015 WADA Code- Fairer,
Smarter, Clearer… and not quite Finished”, January 20, 2014 available at < http://lk-k.com/wp-content/uploads/RIGOZZI-
amendment touches upon the definition of the word ‘intentional’ as mentioned in the Code.
Unintentional consumers of banned substances, commonly; consuming undisclosed substances
may exercise the opportunity of facing reduced sanction under the Code. If an athlete proves that
the origin of a banned substance was a ‘contaminated product’, and that they didn’t intentionally
consume and they weren’t at fault or were negligent, then they could be entitled to reduced
sanction under the Code. Further, the sanction can be placed for a period ranging from 0-2 years
on a case-by case basis. The purpose behind such a change is to differentiate between intentional
and unintentional dopers.
2. Sanction for “Cheaters”: Those intentional dopers who cheat under the influence of such
banned substances shall be sanctioned for 4 years under the revised 2015 Code. Cheaters are those
athletes who intentionally and knowingly consume the prohibited substances, while being aware
that they are violating the rules of the Code. The said rule is governed by the provision mentioned
under Article 10.2.1 of the Code, which states-
“10.2.1 The period of Ineligibility shall be four years where:
10.2.1. The anti-doping rule violation does not involve a Specified Substance, unless the Athlete or other Person
can establish that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional.
10.2.1.2 The anti-doping rule violation involves a Specified Substance and the Anti-Doping Organization can
establish that the anti-doping rule violation was intentional.”
Those who intentionally try to evade the evaluation mechanism whereby they avoid tests amongst
procedural requirements shall also be liable to be sanctioned. Further, individuals who aid in
trafficking or administering such substances shall also be banned for 4 years, and those supplying
it to minors would be banned for lifetime.
3. Prohibited Association with previously sanctioned athletes or support staff: A provision of
this sort has never been enacted before. It restricts an athlete from associating with another athlete
or an athlete’s support person who has previously been found violating the anti-doping rules. The
aforementioned provision is governed by Article 2.10, whereby it is stated-
“Article 2.10 defines “Prohibited Association” as:
2.10 - Prohibited Association
Association by an Athlete or other Person subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization in a
professional or sport-related capacity with any Athlete Support Person who:
2.10.1 If subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization, is serving a period of Ineligibility; or
2.10.2 If not subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization, and where Ineligibility has not been
addressed in a results management process pursuant to the Code, has been convicted or found in a criminal,
disciplinary or professional proceeding to have engaged in conduct which would have constituted a violation of
anti-doping rules if Code-compliant rules had been applicable to such Person…; or
2.10.3 Is serving as a front or intermediary for an individual described in Article 2.10.1 or 2.10.2.”
The WADA Code prescribes that the athlete entering into a prohibited association need be
reasonably advised about the consequences of such association. The athlete has to be notified in
writing about the potential consequence of prohibited association. In case an athlete is accused of
prohibited association, it is his/her burden to show that the relation is not professional. The term
‘association’ has also been defined in the Code, whereby it refers to getting training advice,
discussing competitive strategy, or technique and/or obtaining medical advice from a person who
has previously been sanctioned for doping.40
Implementation of the WADA Code in European Union Countries and India
The WADA Code has been incorporated in the EU Countries in diverse ways. 10 countries of the
European Union have implemented the WADA Code in a Doping Act, 5 in a Sports Act, 2 have
incorporated the Doping rules in regulations of sports authorities and 9 have implemented the
provisions in other Acts. The anti-doping rules prescribed by the WADA Code have found it’s way
into the national legislation of a majority of countries whereby in 20 countries, no difference exists
between the Code and the domestic law. There are certain EU Countries which have certain differing
provisions in the domestic law which relate to41:
• Publication of doping sanctions
• Contracts on doping controls concluded with sport organizations;
• Dissemination of personal information;
• Frequency of in- and out-of competition doping controls;
• The modality of doping sanctions;
• Quality of doping control officers;
40 Paul J. Greene, “A Short Guide to the Changes under the World Anti-Doping Code 2015”, February 4, 2015 available at
41 Flemish Minister Responsible For Sport in View of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union in the Second Half of
2010, “The Implementation of the WADA Code in the European Union”, August, 2010 available at
• The right to appeal;
• The use of ADAMS;
• The whereabouts issue.
Most of the countries also make unrestricted use of the Anti-Doping Administration and Management
System database, which WADA makes available to all stakeholders. Specifically over 10 countries
make unrestricted use; around 6 make restricted use and the others either are currently in the process of
implementing ADAMS or do not make use of such facility.
Apart from communicating with other NADOs and Wada, which NADOs are obliged to do in case of a
positive funding, all NADOs have their own specific circles in which information is exchanged. Over
18 EU countries recognize and carry out doing sanctions imposed by foreign ADOs.
India is one of the initial followers of the WADA Code and the National Anti-Doping Agency
(NADA) established under Society Registration Act 1860, is in line with the WADA Code and has
been updated to incorporate the changes prescribed by the revised WADA Code of 2015.
The primary functions of NADA have been mentioned below42:
• To implement the Anti-Doping Code to achieve compliance by all sporting organisations in the
• To coordinate dope testing program through all participating stakeholders
• To promote anti doping research and education to inculcate the value of dope free sports.
• To adopt best practice standards and quality systems to enable effective implementation and
continual improvement of the program.
The regulations of NADA are in line with the regulations of WADA. Recent provisions like those on
Prohibited Association have also been incorporated in India. The latest WADA Prohibited Substances
List shall also be implemented in India from the 1st of January 2017. The NADA also tests the samples
only in laboratories accredited or otherwise approved by WADA.
Further elaborate policies of NADA and it’s acceptance of the WADA Code are mentioned in the
document released by the NADA:
42 National Anti-Doping Agency, “Primary Functions”, August 4, 2014
THERAPEUTIC USE EXEMPTION
Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular
medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete requires to treat an illness
or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give
that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine or method. TUEs are granted according the
International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE), a document outlining the conditions, the stakeholder
responsibilities and the TUE process.43
A TUE maybe granted to any athlete who is subject to doping control, who must ensure that before
taking prohibited medication he procures a TUE. An application is to be ideally made at least 30 days
in advance, however in cases of emergency, a TUE may be granted even retroactively. A certificate is
to be taken from an appropriate Anti-Doping Organisation (ADO).
The criteria are for granting a TUE is44:
• The athlete would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance
• The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance;
• There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or
• The requirement to use that substance or method is not due to the prior use of the substance or
method without a TUE which was prohibited at the time of use.
The appropriate ADO determines the sufficiency of a TUE application, and more specifically it’s the
Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC), which determines the genuineness of the application
and where it meets the criteria laid down by the Guidelines.
Legislation and Appropriate Governing Body
As mentioned in a WADA document on Therapeutic Exemption, “The International Standard for
Therapeutic Use Exemptions is a mandatory International Standard developed as part of the World
43 World Anti-Doping Agency, “Frequently Asked Questions: Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)”, updated 2016 available
at < https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/therapeutic-use-exemption-tue#item-726>.
44 World Anti-Doping Agency, “Frequently Asked Questions: Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)”, updated 2016 available
at < https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/therapeutic-use-exemption-tue#item-726>.
Anti-Doping Program. The purpose of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions is to
establish (a) the conditions that must be satisfied in order for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (or TUE)
to be granted, permitting the presence of a Prohibited Substance in an Athlete’s Sample or the
Athlete’s Use or Attempted Use, Possession and/or Administration or Attempted Administration of a
Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method for therapeutic reasons; (b) the responsibilities imposed on
Anti-Doping Organizations in making and communicating TUE decisions; (c) the process for an
Athlete to apply for a TUE; (d) the process for an Athlete to get a TUE granted by one Anti-Doping
Organization recognized by another Anti-Doping Organization; (e) the process for WADA to review
TUE decisions; and (f) the strict confidentiality provisions that apply to the TUE process.”45
For major events, which happen at an Procedure to obtain TUE Certificate in
international scale, the respective international India
federation is responsible for examining the TUE
application and granting the certificate. For Therepeutic Use Exemption certificate is
example, in case of Olympics, the International granted by National Anti-Doping Authority
Olympic Committee is appropriate international (NADA) in India.
federation. National-level sportspersons and A form is to be submitted to the NADA
athletes are to take a TUE Certificate from their which shall grant a certificate on the basis
respective NADOs. of the evaluation of the form.
When a national level athlete becomes an The form requires the sportspersons to
international level athlete, the athlete is to submit mention:
an application within 30 days to the appropriate
International Federation. 1. Personal Information
A TUE granted by an International Federation 2. Medical Information
overrides the authority of a National Federation. 3. Medication Details
Hence in this regard, a TUE granted by a National 4. Certification by medical practitioner
Federation isn’t necessarily accepted by the 5. Athelete’s Declaration
International Federation, however if granted by
the International Federation, has to be accepted by It is to be kept in mind that incomplete
the National Federation. applications aren’t accepted.
45 World Anti-Doping Agency, “Therapeutic Use Exemptions”, January, 2015 available at < https://wada-main-
The interlink of ADAMS and TUEs
The Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) is a centralized Web-based
database management tool which allows for the entry and storage of data, as well as sharing and
reporting of such data in a highly-secured environment, which restricts access only to relevant
authorized parties. 46
The TUE management module in ADAMS allows for the following operations to be carried out:
- Online submission of TUE applications by Athletes;
- Online submission of TUE applications by Athlete physicians;
- Online submission of TUE applications by ADOs to TUEC physicians;
- Online management of TUE applications;
- Notification of receipt to Athletes;
- Notification of refusal to grant a TUE to Athletes;
- Sending of TUE certificates to Athletes;
- Online notification of the expiry/change in status of a TUE to relevant parties;
- Sharing of information relating to the TUE with all relevant parties;
- Recognition by IF of TUE granted by NADOs;
- Link between TUEs and AAFs;
- Search function and printing of reports.47
The ADAMS helps all the stakeholders in easing the process of data management and reducing the
chances of leakage of data. It enables the athletes to easily fill online forms and submits the TUE
application online. It also gives necessary online notifications regarding the status of the application to
the athletes. Similarly, it makes access of the applications of the athletes a less cumbersome process
for the doctors/ physicians.
Possible misuse of Therapeutic Use Exemption
Recently, Hackers Fancy Bears this week released athletes' stolen TUE medical files. Russia president
Vladimir Putin said that he "did not support what the hackers have been doing", but suggested the
leaks "raised many questions".48 The assertion and other questionable claims were put forth because
the use of many banned prohibited substances is permitted when granted a TUE. Methylphenidate, for
example, is a stimulant that helps improve brain function in people with ADHD, but it could also help
46 World Anti-Doping Agency, “Therapeutic Use Exemptions: Guidelines Version 6.0” January, 2012 available at
47 World Anti-Doping Agency, “Therapeutic Use Exemptions: Guidelines Version 6.0” January, 2012 available at
48 Sport BBC, “TUE System can be abused by athletes- Dr Richard McLaren”, September 16, 2016 available at
improve an athlete's performance and is only allowed to be used by elite performers with medical
approval.49 The consumption of such drugs is often unregulated, which might give an unfair advantage
to a participant under the aegis of a TUE. There is a need for regulation of consumption of such drugs
to weed out the cons of an important policy development like granting of a Therapeutic Use
49 Sport BBC, “TUE System can be abused by athletes- Dr Richard McLaren”, September 16, 2016 available at
Rule 6 of the Olympics Charter provides that “The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes
in individual or team events and not between countries”.50 Yet the sports and the political arena often
merge, and connections have arisen which don’t necessarily promote the competitive spirit of sports in
good faith. There have been multiple occasions where Olympic games have been boycotted by
numerous nations at the backdrop of political controversies between nations.
The general principles of international law Sanctioning principles under International Law
are often used to justify such application of
sanctions via sports. Although the Reprisal: Reprisal is a principle under
diplomatic use of power over sports international law wherein there is a limited and
competition is considered to be illegal, in deliberate violation of international law to punish
the past Canada’s refusal to issue visas to another sovereign state that has already broken
members of the Taiwanese Olympic team in certain international laws.
1976 serves as a salient example of such a
violation of the UN Charter which prohibits Retorsion: Retorsion are although unfriendly
coercion by one nation towards another.51 acts against the acts of another sovereign state,
The Olympic Charter tries to ensure that but they still are considered lawful in nature.
there is no political pressure exerted in the Example: the will of an independent state to not
domain of sports. In its endeavor to do so, send representatives from the country in certain
Rule 6 of the Olympic Charter lays down Games to a particular country.
the type of competition to be expected in
Olympic games at an international stage, and at a national stage, it tries to bind the National Olympic
Committees to ensure that it is free from all political pressure and that it implements all the by-laws in
its true spirit.
Although efforts were made by the International Olympic Committee to bind the National Olympic
Committees which appropriate rules, however, the conduct of the nations were still unregulated in
terms of their involvement with the sporting activities affecting Olympics in their own nation. In an
endeavor to ensure bind the nations, the idea of a Draft Declaration Relating to the Protection of
Olympic games was proposed in 1982. A Declaration was preferred over a Convention due to the
50 International Olympic Committee, “Olympic Charter”, August 2, 2015 available at
51 James A.R. Nafziger, “Nonaggressive Sanctions in the International Sports Arena”, 1983 available
formulation of a Declaration being a hassle free process and that the main purpose was to imbibe the
Rules of Olympics in international law by ratifying the legal status of the International Olympic
Committee. The Declaration was to be presented before the United Nations General Assembly.
The text of the Draft Declaration has been given below:
The Draft Declaration Relating to the Protection of the Olympic Games
1. Taking note of the spirit of the Olympic principles which govern the organization of the
2. Endorsing the following aims of the Olympic Movement:
a) to promote the development of those physical and moral qualities which are the basis
b) to educate young people through sport in a spirit of better understanding between
each other and of friendship, thereby helping to build a better and more peaceful
c) to spread the Olympic principles throughout the world, thereby creating
d) to bring together the athletes of the world in the great fouryearly sport festival, the
3. Noting with satisfaction that consistent with other declarations of the General Assembly,
the Olympic Movement prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or
4. Recalling its belief that international sporting contacts based on the Olympic principles
can play a positive role in promoting peace and the development of friendly relations
among nations of the world.
5. Desirous of preserving the Olympic Games as a celebration of the aims and objectives of
the Olympic Movement, to be organised and held in the best possible conditions and with
the widest possible participation.
6. Desirous also of facilitating participating in the Olympic Games by athletes and officials
from all National Olympic Committees recognised by the International Olympic
7. Desirous also of protecting the celebration of the Olympic Games from the possible
adverse consequence of international tensions.
8. Noting also that selection of host cities for the Olympic Games by the International
Olympic Committee is and should be based solely on the ability of such cities to organise
the Olympic Games. declares:
1. that Member States shall recognise and protect the celebration of the Olympic Games.
2. that free and unhindered access to Olympic sites and venues be granted to Olympic
athletes and officials during the Olympic Games and a reasonable period prior to and
3. that Member States shall refrain from any discrimination by reason of race, religion or
politics and from any action in relation to the Olympic Games for purposes other than
furthering the aims of the Olympic Movement.
4. that Member States shall respect the purpose and tasks of the National Olympic
Committees in their territories recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
However, in 1983, the authorities decided against presentation of the Draft Declaration because,
apparently, the IOC feared that the political climate in 1983 would cause loss of control of the
Declaration once it reached the floor of the United Nations General Assembly.52
52 David J. Ettinger, “The Legal Status of the International Olympic Committee”, January 1992 available at