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Anti-doping

PLAY BY THE RULES...

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In its mission to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of athletes, the IGF is unwavering in its belief that every athlete has the right to compete on a clean and level playing field, free from the pressures and influences of performance-enhancing drugs.

It is one of the central principles of golf that players play by the Rules and in the spirit of the game.  From the Rules of Golf, Rule 1.2 is important as it details the conduct that is expected of all players.

READ THE RULE

This rule specifies the Conduct Expected of All Players:

"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".

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Every piece of information is important in the fight for clean sport. The ITA REVEAL PLATFORM enables you to report what you may have seen, heard or experienced in a completely anonymous and secure manner. All information is treated in a confidential and sensible manner.

Traditionally, the sport of golf is closely associated with ethical values. Golf is played predominantly without the presence of a referee and is founded on the honest endeavours of every individual player to show consideration for other players and to play according to the rules.

To achieve integrity and fairness in sport, a commitment to a clean field of play is critical. Working with its Delivery Partners, the IGF strives to maintain the integrity of golf by running a comprehensive anti-doping programme that focuses equally on education/prevention and on testing, with consequent sanctioning of those who break the rules.

Read here about the Olympic Games Anti-Doping Programme run by the IGF in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Collaboration Partnership with International Testing Agency (ITA)


To further strengthen our efforts in the aim to safeguard the integrity of golf and protect its athletes, the IGF has delegated its entire anti-doping program to the International Testing Agency (ITA) as of the beginning of 2022. A four-year contract between the two organisations marks the start of the partnership. For more information, please refer to the IGF-ITA Press Release.

ITA Webinar Series: As part of the Education Programme, the ITA is hosting a series of free webinars for National Federation Members on various aspects of Anti-Doping through June / July 2022. See our Education section for more information.

IGF Anti-Doping Committee

The IGF Anti-Doping Committee has been established to oversee aspects related to anti-doping, such as to formulate and publish anti-doping rules that are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and to assist in putting them into effect.

The IGF Anti-Doping Committee members and the IGF Anti-Doping Policy in force are available.

What is doping?

Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs):

  • Presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample
  • Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or method
  • Refusing to submit to sample collection after being notified
  • Failure to file athlete whereabouts information and missed tests
  • Tampering with any part of the doping control process
  • Possession of a prohibited substance or method
  • Trafficking a prohibited substance or method
  • Administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to an athlete
  • Complicity in an ADRV
  • Prohibited association with athlete support personnel who has engaged in doping
  • Acts to discourage or retaliate against reporting to authorities

What should an athlete, athlete support personnel or any person aware of doping practices in the sport do?

To share information about doping suspicion in a completely anonymous and secure manner – managed independently by the International Testing Agency (ITA) - please refer to the IGF Whistleblowing Channel section to access the REVEAL Whistleblowing platform.

Every piece of information is important in the fight for clean sport and through REVEAL you can support the investigation of anti-doping rule violations or criminal behaviour.

Why is doping in sport prohibited?

The use of doping substances or doping methods to enhance performance is fundamentally wrong and is detrimental to the overall spirit of sport. Drug misuse can be harmful to an athlete’s health and to other athletes competing in the sport. It severely damages the integrity, image and value of sport, whether or not the motivation to use drugs is to improve performance. To achieve integrity and fairness in sport, a commitment to clean sport is critical.

Level the Playing Field

What do athletes and athlete support personnel need to know about anti-doping?

“Every athlete has the right to clean sport!”

Any athlete under the jurisdiction of a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, such as the IGF, may be tested in- and out-of-competition, anytime, anywhere and with no advance notice.

The principle of strict liability applies in anti-doping – if it is in the athlete’s body, the athlete is responsible for it.

Athletes’ responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • complying with the IGF Anti-Doping Policy in force (in line with the World Anti-Doping Code) for competitions under IGF jurisdiction;
  • being available for sample collection (urine or blood), whether in-competition or out-of-competition;
  • ensuring that no prohibited substance enters his body and that no prohibited method is used;
  • making sure that any treatment is not prohibited according to the Prohibited List in force and checking this with the prescribing physicians;
  • applying to the IGF (for events under IGF jurisdiction) or to the national anti-doping organization (NADO) if the athlete is a national level athlete, if no alternative permitted treatment is possible and a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required (click here for more information on TUEs);
  • reporting immediately for sample collection after being notified of a doping control;
  • ensuring the accuracy of the information entered on the doping control form during sample collection (including stating any medications and supplements taken within the seven days prior to sample collection, and where the sample collected is a blood sample, blood transfusions within the previous three months);
  • cooperating with anti-doping organizations investigating anti-doping rules violations (ADRVs); and
  • not working with coaches, trainers, physicians or other athlete support personnel who are ineligible on account of an ADRV or who have been criminally convicted or professionally disciplined in relation to doping (see WADA’s Prohibited Association List)

Note: during doping control, the athlete must remain within direct observation of the Doping Control Officer (DCO) or chaperone at all times from when the initial contact is made until the completion of the sample collection procedure. The athlete must also produce identification upon request.

Athletes’ rights include (but are not limited to):

During doping control:

  • bringing a representative and, if available, an interpreter;
  • asking for additional information about the sample collection process;
  • requesting a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons (International Standard for Testing and Investigations Art. 5.4.4); and
  • requesting modifications for athletes with impairments (if applicable).

In the case of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) or an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV):

  • requesting and attending the B sample analysis (in the case of an AAF); and
  • in the case of an ADRV being asserted, the athlete has the right to a fair hearing and the right to appeal the hearing decision.

Test your knowledge on Anti-Doping by trying one of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s “Play True” Quizzes!

Play True Quiz
Play True Quiz – Youth Version

Athlete Support Personnel’s obligations include (but are not limited to):

  • knowing and complying with all applicable anti-doping policies and rules, including the IGF Anti-Doping Policy (in line with the World Anti-Doping Code);
  • refraining from possessing a prohibited substance (or a prohibited method)*, administering any such substance or method to an athlete, trafficking, covering up an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) or other forms of complicity and associating with a person convicted of doping (prohibited association).

* unless the Athlete Support Personnel can establish that the possession is consistent with a TUE granted to an athlete or other acceptable justification. Acceptable justification would include, for example, a team doctor carrying Prohibited Substances for dealing with acute and emergency situations.

These are ADRVs applicable to Athlete Support Personnel under Article 2 of the World Anti-Doping Code and Article 2 of the IGF Anti-Doping Policy.

Athlete Support Personnel’s rights include (but are not limited to):

  • In the case of an ADRV being asserted, the Athlete Support Personnel has the right to a fair hearing and the right to appeal the hearing decision.

What is WADA and what is its role?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an independent international agency and is composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include in particular scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, investigations and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code and its application by Code signatories (International Federations, National Anti-Doping Organizations, Major Event Organizations, etc).

Click here for more information about WADA.

What is the role of the International Federation (IF)?

Anti-doping activities required of IFs by the World Anti-Doping Code include conducting in-competition and out-of-competition testing, providing education programs and sanctioning those who commit anti-doping rule violations.

If you have any anti-doping queries, please contact the IGF Anti-Doping Manager at antidoping@igfmail.org.

What is the role of the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs)?

NADOs are organisations designated by each country as possessing the primary authority and responsibility to adopt and implement national anti-doping rules, carry out anti-doping education, plan tests and adjudicate anti-doping rule violations at a national level. They may also test athletes from other countries competing within that nation’s borders.

Check the list of NADOs to find out who to contact in your country.

If a NADO has not been designated in a country, the National Olympic Committee (NOC), if there is no NADO, takes over these responsibilities. In a number of regions of the world, countries have pooled their resources together to create a Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) responsible for conducting anti-doping activities in the region in support of NADOs.

RADOs bring together geographically-clustered groups of countries where there are limited or no anti-doping activities. The RADOs provide anti-doping education for athletes, coaches and support personnel, testing of athletes, training of local personnel to undertake this task and an administrative framework to operate within.

Check the list of RADOs.

Anti-Doping Privacy Notice


The IGF Anti-Doping Privacy Notice outlines how the IGF will collect, use and share personal information about you to run our anti-doping programme and create a clean sport environment for all athletes.

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