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All athletes have the right to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean.

England Boxing believes in clean boxing. We want to protect the health of our athletes and to ensure fair participation. We do not want cheats in our sport. We work in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and our International Federation to protect the integrity of our sport.

The use of performance-enhancing substances and other doping behaviour, including the taking of diuretics, has the potential to harm the health of athletes. It severely damages the fairness and reputation of our sport and undermines the integrity of clean athletes. We need to keep our sport clean.

Anti-Doping Rules

England Boxing has in place a set of anti-doping rules that all athletes, coaches and athlete support personnel must abide by.

The anti-doping rules for England Boxing are the UK Anti-Doping Rules published by UK Anti-Doping. These rules are consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA C), which governs anti-doping internationally.

You can find the UK Anti-Doping Rules here.

Click here to watch a video explaining the doping violations.

You must understand that the anti-doping rules apply to all members of EB , regardless of the level of participation or role performed.

New rules for 2021

The rules establish various offences (officially called Anti-doping Rule Violations). The new rules for 2021 set out 11 offences. These are:

  • Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample. This is fairly straightforward.  It is where a boxer has produced a positive test for a Prohibited Substance” see below for an explanation of what is meant by a Prohibited Substance.
  • The Use or Attempted Use of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method. The use or attempted use of a prohibited substance. This is fairly self-explanatory. Using or attempting to use a prohibited method is more complicated. This part of the offence is designed to stop people having injections or transfusions to boost performance and or recovery, other than when it is purely medically necessary. It includes infusions of modified blood, any kind of transfusion that and/or injections of more than a total of 100 ml in a 12-hour period and any form of gene or blood doping.
  • Evading, Refusing or Failing to Submit to Sample Collection by an Athlete. A boxer has to submit to a request to provide a sample when approached by a doping control official.  All boxers are required to comply with the directions of an anti-doping control officer. They will introduce themselves and produce their identity. They will explain what is required. The only excuse for not doing so is where there is ‘compelling justification’ not to do so.  This is limited to exceptional circumstances, e.g, where a boxer requires immediate medical attention for an injury or illness.
  • Whereabouts Failures by an Athlete. This relates only to a few athletes and who are at the top end of our sport.  These athletes are required to be available for testing in and out of competition, 365 days a year. They have to notify the authorities of where they will be for an hour each day to be available for testing, if required.
  • Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete or Other Person. This speaks for itself. This offence can be committed by anybody. Sadly, people have tried, for example, to substitute other people’s urine for their own sample, or tried otherwise to interfere with the collection process. Everyone has to comply to with the directions given by the anti-doping control officials.
  • Possession of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method by an Athlete or Athlete Support Person. Again, a self-explanatory offence. This is where a boxer, a coach or other person involved with the boxer, has possession of a substance listed in the Prohibited List or any of the equipment to paraphernalia to provide a prohibited injection or transfusion.
  • Trafficking or Attempted Trafficking in any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method by an Athlete or Other Person. Anybody can commit this offence. It includes ‘selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering or distributing …a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method and can be done either physically or by any electronic or other means.
  • Administration or Attempted Administration by an Athlete or Other Person to any Athlete In- Competition of any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method, or Administration or Attempted Administration to any Athlete Out-of-Competition of any Prohibited Substance or any Prohibited Method that is Prohibited Out-of-Competition.  This offence can be committed by anyone who gives or attempts to give an athlete a Prohibited Substance or help them with a Prohibited Method contrary to the rules.
  • Complicity or Attempted Complicity by an Athlete or Other Person. This is where a person assists, encourages, aids or abets, conspires with or covers up any offence(s) or attempts to do any of these things.  It is aimed at those who try to avoid being found out by covering their tracks or those of others.
  • Prohibited Association by an Athlete or Other Person. This is a rarely-used offence, but it is aimed at stopping for example, a boxer, a coach, a trainer or an administrator from meeting with or associating for a sporting purpose with a person who is banned from the sport because of a doping rule violation. It aims to stop those found to have committed a doping rule violation from continuing in sport in any way while their ban is in force. UKAD keeps a list of people who are banned.  That list can be accessed here. If you have any doubts, contact the EB Compliance officer.
  • Acts by an Athlete or Other Person to Discourage or Retaliate Against Reporting to Authorities. This is a new offence. It speaks for itself.  It is meant to stop people from using any means to prevent someone from reporting a doping offence or a suspected doping offence, or seeking to take some kind of harmful action against them after they have done so. It includes making threats to them, as well as any kind of spiteful rumours. It will include the use of social media.

Prohibited list

There is a list of substances and methods that are banned. These are shown in the WADA Prohibited List. This list is revised each year.

The list underpins England Boxing’s anti-doping rules. All members of England Boxing should familiarise themselves with the current list.

The 2021 List is shown in a much more user-friendly format than previously published. You can access it using the link below:

World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List 2021

You can also access a document showing a summary of the changes to the new list from that of 2020, using the link below:

World Anti-Doping Agency Summary Of Modifications 2021

A really useful and easy to use online tool to check any medication or other substance against the prohibited list is Global DRO.

Prohibited list notes

While there are three categories of Prohibited Substances shown in the list, only two of them apply to boxing: Prohibited At All Times and those Prohibited In-Competition.

The substances Prohibited at all times include any thing that has not been licenced by the UK government, as well as Anabolic steroids, Peptide Hormones and Growth, as well as diuretics and substances that mask any of these in a test.

The substances that are Prohibited In-Competition include: stimulants – the long list includes amphetamine and cocaine, various narcotics, including methadone, oxycodone, morphine, and pethidine and Cannabinoids – cannabis, in whatever form, whether natural or synthetic.

Please note – really important: Remember that this does not mean that it is okay to take any of these substances outside of the competition window.

All of these substances are controlled drugs in the UK. Possession of the likes cocaine and cannabis and/or the supply of them could lead to criminal proceedings, as well as disciplinary action by England Boxing. Remember that we want a clean sport.

What is Strict Liability?

Everyone needs to be aware that the anti-doping rules are very strict in respect of responsibility of  anyone and everyone involved in our sport.

This is particularly the case for boxers when dealing with the first two offences shown in the list above: ‘Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample’ and ‘The Use or Attempted Use of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method’.

The rules state that all boxers are solely responsible for any prohibited (banned) substance or method they use, attempt to use, or that is found in their system, regardless of how it got there and whether or not they had an intention to cheat. The authorities only have to show that the substance was in the sample provided or that the boxer had the substance or paraphernalia of the Prohibited Method for an offence to be proved.

The reasons, whether it was or was not intentional or whether there was any or some fault or negligence on the part of the boxer are only relevant to the penalty that might be given. Onus, then, shifts to the boxer to explain.

Remember that no distinction is made between amateur, or elite boxers in this respect.  This rule is known as ‘strict liability’. Boxers must, therefore, be very careful what they put into their body.

Even in the new format, you may find the Prohibited (banned) List too complicated to understand. If so, you should seek the advice of a doctor for any medication that you take. You should also discuss it with your coach to check which substances are not prohibited (banned).

Just to remind you, a really useful and easy to use online tool to check any medication or other substance against the prohibited list is Global DRO.

Be wary of taking supplements

England Boxing does not encourage the use of supplements.  There have sadly been too many cases of athletes committing a doping violation when they have taken contaminated supplements.

If you decide to take supplements, you must undertake thorough research of any supplement products before use – including the name of the product and the ingredients/substances listed.  ll England Boxing members should initially use the Global DRO and examine the WADA Prohibited List.

All England Boxing members should also contact the manufacturer for confirmation that the substances have been batch tested to ensure no contamination by a Prohibited Substance. You are strongly advised to keep any evidence of this research.

Consequences are Significant

The consequences of committing a violation of any of these offences are significant. The anti-doping rules provide for various possible punishments depending on the type of offence committed and the circumstances of each case.

You should understand that the punishments include lengthy period of suspensions from the sport, and can include a suspension for life in the most serious cases. For example, if an athlete is found to have deliberately taken a prohibited substance, a minimum four-year ban from sport can be given and that can go up to a lifetime ban in serious cases.

Additional resources

Click on the link to view the England Boxing anti-doping statement.

You can also read a boxing-focused report on research about boxing by clicking here.

To go to the UKAD home page, click here.