The Use of Discretion in Anti-Doping Cases involving Non-Elite Athletes: XYZ in NZ

Victoria Jamieson, Catherine Ordway

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


While ‘cheating insport by using drugs’ clearly falls within the definition of corruption (Miller2018), it is argued instead that the abuse of power in this case study relatesto the failure of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) to distinguish between competitors‘cheating in sport’ and people unintentionally caught up in the contractualanti-doping process. The deliberately broad definition of ‘athlete’ combinedwith the lack of discretion to determine appropriate sanctions for thoseinadvertently captured combines to amount to an abuse of power and consequentbreach of trust. The actors enforcing the WADC, primarily the nationalanti-doping organisations (NADOs), are arguably not permitted to exercise adiscretion to determine appropriate and proportionate responses to those casesfalling outside the range of people participating in competitive sport. TheNADOs are usually taxpayer funded entities, and have legitimacy through their‘social licence’ to protect clean sport. The publicly funded resources availableto the NADOs are finite. This chapter argued that the public confidence, ortrust, in the work of NADOs under the WADC is undermined where NADOs are seento be heavy-handed or excessive in their treatment of non-elite or recreationalathletes. It is argued here that rewording the WADC from an Ethics of Careperspective would allow the transparent exercise of discretion and therebyrestore trust in the athletes and the public in order to focus anti-dopingefforts in the areas of greatest need
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRestoring Trust in Sport: Corruption Cases and Solutions
EditorsCatherine Ordway
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781003034780
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport and Corruption


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