Archery, A Clean Sport

No matter what level you compete or participate at, it is your responsibility to know the rules that apply to you, and to comply with those rules. Although doping is not a common occurrence in the sport of archery, any doping offence is treated very seriously, and have can dire consequences. The local body responsible for the administration of the World Anti Doping Association rules is the South African Institute of Drug Free Sport (SAIDS).

Although you may not be taking a drug or substance to gain a competitive advantage, simply having certain substances in your body can result in a positive test (known as an adverse analytical finding). Anti-doping rules operate on the concept is known as “strict liability” where the intent to gain an advantage or to dope is not relevant to the finding of doping.

The rules are written in such as way that if you have a prohibited substance in your body, you are guilty of a doping offence (the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply). A doping infraction and possible sanctions against you can be the result of being ignorant of the rules. Even if a drug you are taking is medically necessary, you must declare its use to the proper authority in order to avoid an infraction if you are chosen for testing.

Although the majority of doping control testing is focused on higher level archers and athletes, random testing can be conducted at various tournaments that may lead to “recreational archers” being selected for doping control. You do not have to be a member of any organisation, national team, or be an Excellence member to be selected for testing.

Even if you have not signed a form or agreed to be tested, you can still be selected for testing. Once selected, you must agree to the testing or face sanctions for refusing to be tested. Because of this possibility, every archer should understand and follow the rules.