[author: Jorge Monclús]
The Spanish Parliament has just approved the so-called Fundamental Act (LO) 3/2013 for the protection of the athletes health and fighting doping in sport.
This new piece of legislation intends to combat against doping in sports in a more effective way, incorporating into Spanish law the requirements laid down by international organizations, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
One of the main innovations established by this new Spanish Act is creation of a new category of athletes, the so-called “international level athletes”, who will be subject to the rules and procedures of the relevant International Federations and the WADA, including those relating to the biological passport.
It is also established that not only athletes, but also its official or personal coaches, teams and clubs (as well as their managers) are obliged to provide the authorities with updated information on the whereabouts of athletes in order to allow non-scheduled doping controls.
The new Spanish Act establishes that, in general, doping controls shall not be carried out between 11 pm to 6 am. However, in exceptional and duly justified cases, the controls may be performed by night / early morning. The main condition to allow these exceptional tests is that at the time of carrying out the controls, the athlete is duly informed on the special reasons justifying the test to by executed by then.
The new Spanish enforcement agency (named “Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte“) shall assume new responsibilities. Among others, it may perform controls on foreign athletes who are in Spain and will communicate the results to the respective Sports Federations and to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
With this new Spanish Act, which has been approved in a very short period of time, and which will enter into force soon (within a 20-day term from the date of official publication), Spain aims to improve its system of anti-doping, with an eye on the election by September 2013 of the host city for the 2020 Olympics.