The recently released list of ‘Suspended Athlete Support Personnel’ by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) contains 114 names, including nearly 30 nationalities, followed by either the word ‘life’ or the end date of the disqualification imposed due to anti-doping rule violations. Approximately 31% of the names are prohibited for ‘life.’ Article 2.10 of the revised World Anti-Doping Code (2015) prohibits association by athletes with support personnel having anti-doping violations. The list is a formal source of those included in the restriction and will be updated at least once every three months by WADA. Athletes are prohibited from associating with anyone on the list and could face ineligibility. The comment to the rule defines association broadly as “obtaining training, strategy, technique, nutrition or medical advice, therapy, treatment or prescriptions” with or without compensation.
Some features of the list are that a majority of sixty-one individuals (or 53% of the listed names) are Italian, and fifteen of those have a life suspension. A most notable Italian with life suspension is Dr. Michele Ferrari who was a physician of Lance Armstrong. Another example, two Italians involved in the ‘Oil for Drugs’ doping scandal are listed.
Four Canadians and three Americans are the on list. The only American with a lifetime ban, Coach Trevor Graham, worked with runner Marion Jones, as well as an American sports agent also listed as suspended as part of the BALCO doping. Additionally, six Russians are listed, including a former director of the Olympic Race Walking Training Center, a physician in basketball, and a weightlifting coach. Other nationalities included with a single or a few prohibited names are Austria, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Romania, Poland, Jamaica, Ecuador, Spain, Serbia, Turkey, Nigeria, Mexico and Uruguay. No nationalities from the Far East are represented. Neither Australia nor New Zealand are listed. The United Kingdom has one boxing trainer on the list banned for life by UK Anti-Doping last year for trafficking anabolic steroids. (Rowbottom, 2015).
The Suspended Athlete Support Personnel list will grow presumably as cases currently under appeal not included on the list are resolved. Privacy concerns are disclaimed by WADA in the introduction to the list as everything published is already in the public record. Nonetheless, WADA expressly disclaims any liability, reliance, or accuracy of the list. It is simply an additional tool for elite athletes and their advisors navigating the anti-doping regulations.
Rowbottom, M. (2015, 15 Sep.) Ferrari heads list of 61 Italians on WADA blacklist of coaches and physicians. Inside the Games. Retrieved from http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1030188/ferrari-heads-list-of-61-italians-on-wada-blacklist-of-coaches-and-physicians
Dr. Robert Hudson is the Library Director and Archivist and Assistant Professor at the United States Sports Academy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.