FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations 2021

The revised FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations 2021 (FIFA ADR) will come into force on 1 January 2021. While retaining their core principles and proven processes, the revised regulations incorporate the changes to the new code as well as important updates in order to address the new challenges in the fight against doping in football worldwide. They have been developed in consultation with key stakeholders such as WADA and all six football confederations. The main changes can be summarised as follows:

i.            Further differentiations between players: the FIFA ADR introduces the concept of “protected persons” (players or other persons who are minors and/or who do not have any experience of international competitions) and “recreational players” (players who have not played at international or national level for the last five years). For both categories, sanctions for anti-doping rule violations can be further lowered and the burden of proof in the adjudication process has been relaxed.

ii.           A stronger emphasis on anti-doping education: a new definition of “education” has been added in order to highlight the importance of better educating all of FIFA’s stakeholders in various anti-doping matters, such as the doping control procedure or how the worldwide fight against doping is structured.

iii.          New “substance of abuse” policy: substances of abuse are prohibited substances that are frequently abused in society outside the context of sport. Such substances will be identified by WADA on an annual basis. The period of ineligibility to play will be three months, which can be shortened to one month if the player concerned undergoes a rehabilitation programme recognised by FIFA and can prove the “outside-of-sport” context.

Further additions include stronger whistle-blower protection, the introduction of a mechanism to exclude non-compliant member associations from tournaments and the strengthening of procedural rights.

If you would like a more in-depth view of the new FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, take a look at the video below of an online seminar intended to give FIFA’s member associations a concise overview of the new regulations.