Coherence of drug policy in sports: Illicit inclusions and illegal inconsistencies

Coherence of drug policy in sports : Illicit inclusions and
illegal inconsistencies / Kathryn Henne, Benjamin Koh, Vanessa McDermott. - (Performance Enhancement & Health 2 (2013) 2 (June); p. 48-55)

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2013.05.003

See also:

Comment on Henne, Koh and McDermott / Ivan Waddington, Ask Vest Christiansen, John Gleaves, John Hoberman, Verner Møller. - (Performance Enhancement & Health 2 (2013) 2 (June); p. 56-57)

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2013.08.002


Anti-doping regulation has become a critical element of contemporary sport, conveying what substances and methods athletes may use. Although this form of regulation is often synonymous with banning performance enhancing substances and methods, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the global authority tasked with formulating policies on drug use in sports also regulates illicit drugs, including those considered non-performance enhancing. This paper examines how the inclusion of illicit drugs on the WADA Prohibited List falls under the agency's mandate by focusing on how the agency justifies the prohibition of substances more generally. In so doing, it highlights inconsistencies in the criteria used to evaluate whether or not substances should be prohibited. After critically considering WADA's criteria, this paper posits a way to reconcile the inconsistencies. It suggests that aligning the criteria with existing claims that doping is a broader health concern provides a way for WADA to clarify ambiguities around why substances are on the WADA Prohibited List and better communicate why it regulates illicit non-performance enhancing drugs.

Original document


13 June 2013
Henne, Kathryn
Koh, Benjamin
McDermott, Vanessa
Legal Terms
Anti-Doping policy
Rules & regulations National Sports Organisations & National Anti-Doping Organisations
WADA Prohibited List International Standard
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Australian National University (ANU)
University of New South Wales (UNSW Canberra)
University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
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Scientific article
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Date generated
30 August 2021
Date of last modification
30 September 2021
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