FAQ for Competitors
- Who or what is WADA?
- I am practising 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 a blood or a urine sample?
- If I am tested, who conducts the test?
- I am going to 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 a competition?
- What is ADAMS?
- What is a TUE?
- What is an RTP and what are Whereabouts?
- Can I be tested outside of a competition environment? Can someone ring my doorbell early in the morning?
- Who should I contact if I have a question?
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 organisations, including international sports federations, national anti-doping organisations, the IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee.
The FAI has been signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code since 2003.
2. I am practising 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 - as well as athletes' health and safety. Following the FAI General Conference's 2003 adoption of the World Anti-Doping Code, the FAI Anti-Doping Rules and Procedures are designed to implement FAI's responsibilities under that Code. They reflect FAI's determination to protect its athletes and ensure there is no doping in air sports. By applying for an FAI Sporting Licence, athletes accept these rules as a condition of their 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 recognised 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. This would prevent us from participating in multisport events such as The World Games.
4. What do I risk by taking prohibited substances?
"Doping" is contrary to the FAI's principles of fair play, and potentially damaging to athletes' health and safety. The risks include:
- A sanction, such as a competiton suspension lasting 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. However, recreational drugs might be considered prohibited substances and be detected at a doping control. More importantly, they are not acceptable in aviation as they can put you and other athletes 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 Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and bring the certificate with you to competitions.
Please note that you should check the nature of the substance and get a TUE as soon as you are prescribed a medication, and not only when you participate in a competition.
7. If I am tested, will it be a blood or a urine sample?
The FAI orders only urine doping tests. But should you be tested under the mandate of another organisation such as your NADO (National Anti-Doping organization), you may have 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 authorisation letter and 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. I am going to 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, the athlete's NAC, or any other Anti-Doping Organisation 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). If you are taking 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. The journey 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 sample A is examined. If you test positive (called Adverse Analytical Finding – AAF), you have the right to ask for sample B to be examined in case there was a mistake. 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 taken 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, if you take any medication for medical reasons, please ask your doctor to check whether it is on the Prohibited List published by WADA. Please note that dietary and nutritional supplements can also include prohibited substances.
15. May I drink alcohol during a competition?
Alcohol in air sports is prohibited in competition for obvious civil aviation legal and safety reasons. This means that you could be 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.
16. What is ADAMS?
Under the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonising 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 happens to be on the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) will give that athlete the authorisation to take the relevant 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 subject to out-of-competition testing. Whereabouts is information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes in the RTP about their location to the FAI or another National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).
19. Can I be tested outside a competition environment? Can someone ring my doorbell early in the morning?
If - and only if - you are part of the FAI Registered Testing Pool (RTP), then you will have provided your whereabouts and may be tested Out-Of-Competition. The test could therefore be early in the morning (from 6:00 am) at your home or at your training place.
20. Who should I contact if I have a question?
You can contact your club, your National Airsport Control (NAC - FAI Member in your country), and/or your National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO). The FAI Anti-Doping Manager is also available to answer your questions: Mrs. Ségolène ROUILLON +41 21 345 10 70 / e-mail