There are many risks associated with doping. From negative effects on mental and physical health, to loss of sponsorship or prize money, to permanent damage to an athlete’s image and relationships, it is important to understand and consider all consequences of doping. Below is a list of some of the common consequences of not competing clean.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs may have long- and short-term impacts on athletes’ physical and mental health. Depending on the substance, the dosage and the duration of use, some PEDs have been proven to have severe side effects and can cause irreversible damage to an athlete’s body.
In addition to the physical aspects, scientific research has shown that there is a considerable correlation between the use of PEDs and mental health issues. Most commonly, it was found that the use of doping substances can trigger anxiety, obsessive disorders or psychosis.
Being associated with doping or a doping offense will have an impact on the person’s reputation and social relations. In the public view, athletes or other persons convicted of doping are often considered cheaters and experience many forms of stigma.
Doping has a significant negative impact on the person’s private life and social interactions as people may feel that they no longer want to be connected to someone who has damaged the reputation of a sport and displayed poor judgement.
A ban resulting from an Anti-Doping Rule Violation will have a significant financial impact on the individual. For athletes, this includes, but is not limited to, the requirement to return prize money or a financial sanction. Other negative consequences of doping include termination of contracts and sponsorship deals, loss of government funding and other forms of financial support.
An Anti-Doping Rule Violation will have an impact on an athlete’s ability to train and compete. For coaches and other athlete support personnel, a ban may mean that they are no longer able to work with athletes. A sanction resulting from an ADRV can range from a warning to a lifetime ban from all sport.
It is also important to note that individuals banned in the sport of lacrosse will also be prohibited from playing, coaching or working with athletes in any other capacity in a different sport.
It is also a violation of the WADA Code to work with athlete support personnel who have been sanctioned by an anti-doping organization, as well as any coaches, trainers, physicians or other athlete support personnel who are ineligible on account of an ADRV, or those who have been criminally convicted or professionally disciplined in relation to doping.
A full list of all athlete support personnel who are currently suspended from working with athletes or other persons can be found on WADA’s Prohibited Association List.
In addition to the information above, athletes and athlete support personnel may refer to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has useful information on the negative impacts of several doping substances on its website.
Beyond the legal consequences, an increasing number of public authorities and governments have adopted legislation that treats doping as a criminal act. Consequently, in addition to being ineligible to coach or compete, athletes or athlete support may face criminal charges depending on the country in which they live.