"All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by: Acting with integrity – for example, by following the Rules, applying all penalties, and being honest in all aspects of play".
Rules of Golf, rule 1.2
The Consequences of Doping
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 (PEDs) may have long- and short-term impacts on the Athlete’s 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 offence 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 (ADRV) 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 (ADRV) 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 golf 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 Code to work with Athlete Support Personnel who have been sanctioned by an ADO, 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.
The importance of anti-doping education
The IGF recognises that education contributes to a long-term solution to prevent doping through effective values-based educational programs. A number of resources are available online to ensure athletes and their entourage are aware of the anti-doping rules and procedures as well as to foster a doping-free culture in our sport.
The IGF Education Plan is available to National Federations or Anti-Doping Organisations upon request.
ITA Webinar Series: the ITA is hosting a series of free webinars for National Federation Members on various aspects of Anti-Doping through June / July 2022. These Webinars are a great opportunity to learn about anti-doping by taking a course, at no cost to your Organisation. We greatly encourage you to participate and also to invite your members to sign up. The course is open to anyone from your community – not just players, but also the wider entourage.
General anti-doping documentation on the IGF's anti-doping program can be found here. Documentation specific to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games can be found here.
Outreach programs are set up around IGF events to educate the athletes and their entourage on the dangers and consequences of doping. The IGF creates a specific anti-doping handbook for each of its events and encourages athletes to take the Anti-Doping Pledge: “I am an athlete who has the right to participate in clean sport. I will embrace the spirit of sport, respect my competitors, my sport and all those involved in my sporting endeavours. I will Play True and Say No! To Doping.”
Online resources for athletes, coaches and sport physicians
ADEL – eLearning Tool for Athletes
The anti-doping e-learning platform (ADeL) is an online tool developed by WADA that offers courses for athletes, coaches, doctors, administrators and anyone interested in learning more about anti-doping and protecting the values of clean sport.
Play True Quiz
The Play True Quiz is an interactive computer game developed by WADA that tests athletes' and their entourage’s knowledge in anti-doping. It is an integral element of anti-doping outreach programs and has been showcased at major events including the Olympic Games.
Play True - Youth version
The Youth Quiz is an interactive tool developed by WADA to target a younger audience by providing them core anti-doping information that better suits their level. It has been featured at the Youth Olympic Games.