FAQ for Competitors
- Who or what is WADA?
- I am practicing my sport as a hobby. Why is anti-doping related to my sport?
- There are no performance enhancing drugs in my sport. Why does the FAI follow what WADA is dictating?
- What do I risk by taking prohibited substances?
- What if I occasionally use social drugs?
- I am competing at international level and I take medication for a specific medical treatment. What should I do ?
- If I am tested, will it be blood or urine sample?
- If I am tested, who conducts the test?
- Soon I will participate in an FAI event such as a World Championship. Might I be tested?
- If I am tested, what should I do?
- If I am tested, what is done with my samples?
- If I am tested, can I trust the Doping Control Officer?
- If I am tested and my sample is positive, what can I do?
- How do I know if I am taking something on the Prohibited List?
- May I drink alcohol during competition?
- What is ADAMS?
- What is a TUE?
- What is an RTP and what are Whereabouts?
- Can I be tested out of competition? Can someone ring at my door early in the morning?
- Who should I first contact if I have a question?
- More info?
1. Who or what is WADA?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was set up on November 10, 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sport. WADA is responsible for the World Anti-Doping Code, adopted by more than 600 sports organizations, including international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, the IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee.
The FAI has been signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code since 2003.
2. I am practicing my sport as a hobby. Why is anti-doping related to my sport?
The FAI Anti-Doping programmes seeks to preserve what is intrinsically valuable about sport – fair-play and integrity - but also the health of the athletes. Following the adoption in 2003 by the FAI General Conference of the World Anti-Doping Code, the FAI is committed to a programme of anti-doping. The FAI Anti-Doping Rules and Procedures are designed to implement FAI's responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code. They reflect FAI's determination to ensure that there is no doping in air sports and to protect its athletes. By applying for an FAI Sporting Licence, athletes accept these rules as a condition of participation in air sports.
3. There are no performance enhancing drugs in my sport. Why does the FAI follow what WADA is dictating?
The FAI wants to ensure a fair and level playing field. Also, as an Olympic recognized federation, the FAI has to observe the WADA Code and be compliant. Not doing this would result in losing this recognition and as a consequence, many FAI Members would also lose their national recognition and support from their governments or National Olympic Committees. Besides, this would prevent us from participating in multisport events such as IWGA The World Games, for example.
4. What do I risk by taking prohibited substances?
The activities, defined as "doping", are contrary to the FAI's principles of fair play, and are potentially damaging to athletes' health and safety. Therefore, you risk:
- A sanction, such as a suspension to compete for a certain number of years
- Damaging your health
5. What if I occasionally use social drugs?
Occasional social drug use is at your own risk. But you should be aware that not only might they be considered as a prohibited substance and be detected at a doping control but more importantly they are not acceptable in aviation as they might put yourself and others in danger.
6. I am competing at international level and I take medication for a specific medical treatment. What should I do ?
Go and see your doctor and check whether the medication that he/she is prescribing is on the WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. If yes, apply for a TUE (see link below). Get the certificate from FAI Office (usually one or two weeks after application if TUE accepted) and bring it with you to competitions.
Please note that you should check the nature of the substance and get a TUE as soon as you get a medication prescribed and not only at the occasion of a competition.
7. If I am tested, will it be blood or urine sample?
The FAI orders only urine doping tests. But should you be tested under the mandate of another organization like your NADO (National Anti-Doping organization), it can be possible to undergo a blood test.
8. If I am tested, who conducts the test?
The person who is officially responsible and will test you is called a Doping Control Officer (DCO). He/she is working for a sample collection agency on behalf of the FAI. You can ask to see his/her authorization letter upon arrival as well as his/her ID card if you wish. This person does not work directly for and is not directly part of the FAI, he/she is a service provider.
9. Soon I will participate in an FAI event such as a World Championship. Might I be tested?
Yes you might be tested. All athletes competing at FAI Events are subject at any time during the competition to in-competition testing ordered by the FAI or by the athlete's NAC or by any other Anti-Doping Organization responsible for testing at a competition or event in which they participate.
10. If I am tested, what should I do?
A Doping Control Officer (DCO) will come to you and ask you to give a urine sample. You can be chaperoned (accompanied) by one person from the beginning of the process until the end. The DCO will ask you to fill in the official papers and provide the samples in the toilets under his/her supervision (the DCO supervising the urine sample will always be of same gender as the athlete).
Should you be under medication and benefit from a TUE, please mention it when filling in the papers.
11. If I am tested, what is done with my samples?
Your samples will be sealed in your presence and sent to a WADA accredited laboratory in strict confidence and will be tracked to ensure their security.
12. If I am tested, can I trust the Doping Control Officer?
The Doping Control Officer is officially mandated for this mission and you can fully trust him/her.
13. If I am tested and my sample is positive, what can I do?
During the sample collection, you will give two samples : A and B. Usually, only A sample is examined. If you are tested positive (called Adverse Analytical Finding – AAF), you have the right to ask for the B sample to be examined if you wish to be sure whether there was a mistake or not.
If it is confirmed that your sample is positive, the results will all go to the FAI Anti-Doping Manager who will set up an Doping Review Panel and study your case. You will be informed of all the steps being followed in due time.
14. How do I know if I am taking something on the Prohibited List?
Prohibited substances are often included in medication. Therefore, should you take any medication for medical reasons, please go and ask your doctor to check whether the medication is on the Prohibited List published by WADA.
Be careful that dietary and nutritional supplements can also include prohibited substances. Be careful and ask your doctor for advice about these also.
15. May I drink alcohol during competition?
Alcohol in air sports is prohibited in competition for obvious civil aviation legal and safety reasons. This means that you could be tested positive if you are tested during a competition. Units of alcohol are an inexact guide because the definition varies between countries. However, in many countries there is a legal limit of 0.50g/l for driving motor vehicles. Sound practical advice is to stay strictly within this driving limit during the evening prior to any competitive air sport event and within legal limits as defined by civil aviation authorities during your flying activities. This will provide an assurance that the limit will not be breached if you are tested the following morning.
But be careful that alcohol is dangerous for your health in general.
16. What is ADAMS?
Under the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports), WADA has an obligation to coordinate anti-doping activities and to provide a mechanism to assist stakeholders with their implementation of the Code. The Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) was developed for this purpose. It is a Web-based database management system that simplifies the daily activities of all stakeholders and athletes involved in the anti-doping system—from athletes providing whereabouts information, to anti-doping organizations ordering tests, to laboratories reporting results, to anti-doping organizations managing results. It is easy to use, secure, compliant with data privacy rules, available in several languages, and free to WADA’s stakeholders, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the fight against doping in sport.
17. What is a TUE?
Athletes, like anyone, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to be on the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) will give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine for health reasons.
18. What is an RTP and what are Whereabouts?
RTP means “Registered testing pool” and defines a group of athletes selected to be in this pool and subject to out-of-competition testing. Whereabouts is information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes included in the RTP about their location to the FAI or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) that included them in their respective registered testing pool as part of these top elite athletes’ anti-doping responsibilities.
19. Can I be tested out of competition? Can someone ring at my door early in the morning?
If you are part of the FAI Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and only if you are part of this pool, then you will have provided your whereabouts and may be tested out-of-competition which means that it can be early in the morning (but only from 6:00 am onwards) at your home or later on at your training place, and so on.
20. Who should I first contact if I have a question?
You can of course contact your club or your NAC (FAI Member in your country) but as they might not have exhaustive knowledge about anti-doping matters, we advise you to contact the FAI Anti-Doping Manager anytime you have a question (antidoping[at]fai.org) and/or your National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO).
21. More info?
FAI Anti-Doping Manager : Mrs. Ségolène ROUILLON
+41 21 345 10 70 / e-mail