USADA Background Information
Note: This summary was provided as of November 10, 2000. Information included within may be subject to revision.
The United States Olympic Committee ("USOC") President William J. Hybl created the USOC Select Task Force on Drug Externalization ("Task Force") on June 15, 1999. The Task Force was directed to investigate whether the USOC should externalize its anti-doping program and, if so, to recommend how that should be accomplished.
In December of 1999, the Task Force recommended that an independent organization be created to conduct a comprehensive anti-doping program in the United States on behalf of the USOC. While the system in place at the time called for National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to prosecute doping related infractions which diverted their administrative and financial resources away from athlete development programs and created an inherent conflict between the NGBs and their athletes. The proposal called for the independent organization to conduct the anti-doping process -- from selection, to sample collection, to results management and including adjudication.
The Task Force made the recommendation based on a number of factors. First, externalization would alleviate the perception, inherent in any system of self-regulation, that the USOC and NGBs were not doing everything within their power to eliminate doping by U.S. athletes. Second, the creation of an organization that is independent from the USOC and NGBs would enhance international credibility of US anti-doping efforts. Additionally, a new organization with adequate funding could expand and improve upon the programs for anti-doping that currently exist. Finally, there was an opportunity to support the athletes and to seek harmonization of the procedures and practices of the NGBs and their International Federations ("IFs"), and the International Olympic Committee ("IOC"). With these goals in mind, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was incorporated.
As of October 2000, the USOC transferred all of its doping control responsibility for tests conducted after October 1, 2000 to USADA. In October of 2000, the USA Track & Field (USATF) Executive Committee authorized USADA to conduct the USATF disciplinary procedures outlined in Regulation 10, for all domestic positive drug tests until December 31, 2000. It is anticipated that, at the USATF Annual Meeting in December of 2000, a proposal will be voted upon to have USADA conduct all adjudications and/or results management of USATF anti-doping disciplinary matters. If approved, USATF will cease to have any mandated involvement with anti-doping matters, other than imposition of sanctions, athlete education, and addressing policy issues.
Pursuant to the USADA Protocol, USADA is an independent entity not subject to the control of the USOC. For purposes of transmittal of information by USADA, the USOC is considered USADA's client. However, the USOC has authorized USADA to transmit information simultaneously to the athlete, the relevant NGB, the IF, and WADA.
ATHLETES SUBJECT TO TESTING
Athletes subject to testing are:
a. Any athlete who is a member of a NGB;
b. Any athlete participating in a USOC or NGB sanctioned competition;
c. Any foreign athlete who would otherwise be subject to testing by USADA, the USOC, or NGB;
d. Any athlete who has given his/her consent to testing by USADA; or
e. Any athlete who has been named by the USOC or NGB or is competing in a qualifying event to represent the USOC or NGB in international competition.
SELECTION OF ATHLETES
USADA will have the authority to determine which athletes will be selected for testing by following USOC, NGB, or IF selection formulas or requests. These guidelines will be used for in-competition as well as out-of-competition testing by USADA. USADA also retains the right to test any athlete that it chooses, with or without cause or explanation, or the authority of the NGB or IF. Currently, USADA is using the existing USATF selection protocols contained in Exhibit J (Selection of Athletes USOC No-Advance-Notice Drug Testing Program) & Exhibit K (Random Drug Testing Program In-Competition) of the USATF Governance Handbook. However, these selection processes are subject to change by USADA.
To facilitate testing, each NGB will provide USADA with a regularly updated list of athletes to be included in the No Advance Notice or other out-of-competition testing program. These updates are required to be submitted on the forms prescribed by USADA. (See attached.)
USADA will collect samples according to standards set forth by the IOC and WADA. USADA will follow its own drug testing and sample collection protocols even when these differ from those of the IF, the IOC, and WADA. All samples collected will be analyzed only by IOC accredited laboratories.
A negative laboratory report, along with a doping control passport stamp, will promptly be forwarded by USADA to the athlete, the USOC, and the applicable NGB.
A positive laboratory report indicating an elevated testosterone/epitestosterone ratio or epitestosterone concentration, will cause USADA to notify the athlete at the address on the Doping Control Notification/Signature Form of the date on which the laboratory will conduct the "B" sample analysis. The NGB will also be notified at this point. The athlete and/or the athlete's representative may attend the "B" sample analysis at his/her own expense. Prior to the opening of the "B" sample, the athlete will be provided with the "A" sample report and abbreviated laboratory documentation. A sample will not be considered a final positive until after the "B" sample analysis confirms the "A" sample analysis. USADA will promptly notify the USOC, the applicable NGB, and the athlete of "B" sample laboratory results.
REVIEW PROCESS FOR POSITIVE TESTS
In the event of: (1) a laboratory report confirming a positive test, (2) an admission of doping, (3) a refusal to test, or (4) trafficking, USADA will refer the case to the USADA Anti-Doping Review Board (Review Board).
The athlete shall be notified of the date by which all written materials must be submitted through USADA to the Review Board. The athlete will also be provided the name and telephone number of the Athlete Ombudsman. The Review Board will be provided the laboratory documentation and any additional information USADA deems appropriate. The Review Board may request additional information from USADA, or the athlete, to assist in making a determination. After all submitted written materials are examined, the Review Board, by majority vote, will make a recommendation to USADA as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence of doping to proceed to a hearing. The USADA Review Board recommendation will be sent to the athlete, the USOC, the NBG, the IF, and WADA. It is important to note that the Review Board's recommendation is not a hearing decision, only a preliminary finding.
Following receipt of the Review Boards recommendation, USADA shall notify the athlete in writing whether the matter is considered closed or alternatively what specific charges or violations are being alleged and what sanction, consistent with applicable IF rules, USADA is seeking to have imposed. The notice shall also include a copy of the USADA Protocol and the Modifications to AAA Commercial Rules. The athlete will have ten (10) days to decide if s/he wants to contest the sanction through a hearing. If the sanction is not contested, USADA will recommend that the applicable NGB impose the appropriate sanction.
HEARING PROCESS FOR POSITIVE TESTS
If the sanction is contested, then a hearing will take place in the United States before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) using a single arbitrator or, at either party's election, a three-person arbitration panel. Arbitrators will be selected from a pool of the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who are also AAA arbitrators. The time limit for striking the names and returning the list of arbitrators shall be five (5) days. If desired, either party may demand a three-person arbitration panel. Any party so electing shall designate one arbitrator from the Arbitration Pool within the 5-day period. The other party shall have an additional five days to designate an arbitrator from the Arbitration Pool. The third arbitrator, who will not be from the original list, shall be designated by the AAA Vice President.
The parties to the hearing will be USADA and the athlete. USADA will also invite the applicable IF to participate either as a party or as an observer. Notice of the hearing date will also be sent to the USOC, the NGB, and WADA.
Any briefing of the arbitrator shall be completed within three months of the appointment of the arbitrator. The hearing process may be expedited in order to determine an athlete's eligibility prior to any protected competition. The arbitrator shall have 10 days to render an award.
An athlete may elect to bypass the AAA hearing and proceed directly before CAS. The CAS decision shall not be subject to further review or appeal. Except that the IAAF may refer a case to arbitration before its arbitration panel pursuant to IAAF Rule 21(3). It is important to note that in all hearings, if an IF's rules are silent on an issue, the rules set forth in the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code shall apply. In USATF's case, the IAAF rules are controlling, except at the Pan-American Games and the Olympic Games.
The IOC laboratories used by USADA are presumed to have conducted testing and custodial procedures in accordance to prevailing and acceptable standards of scientific practice. If the validity of a test is contested, USADA will have the burden of establishing the integrity of the sample collection process, the chain of custody of the sample, and the accuracy of laboratory test results by clear and convincing evidence, unless the applicable IF rules set a higher standard. USADA shall communicate the results of all hearings to the athlete, the USOC, the applicable NGB, the IF, and WADA.
There is a ten-day period for appealing a hearing. Either the athlete or the IF (whether a party or not) shall be entitled to appeal the AAA arbitrator(s) decision to CAS. The decision of CAS shall be final.
Except for the notifications to the USOC, NGB, IF and WADA, USADA may not publicly disclose an athlete's positive test result or alleged doping violation until after the athlete has been found to have committed a violation in a hearing conducted by the AAA or CAS. It is important to note that USADA will report the athlete's name to the IAAF, who may in turn take action against the athlete.