Asser International Sports Law Blog

Our International Sports Law Diary
The Asser International Sports Law Centre is part of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – February 2020 - By Thomas Terraz

Editor's note: This report compiles the most relevant legal news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. 


The Headlines

Manchester City sanctioned by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play

Manchester City has been sanctioned under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations for two seasons for ‘overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information’ it had provided UEFA. The February 14 decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) likely heralds the start of a long and bitter legal war between Manchester City and UEFA, which may end up settling many of the questions surrounding the legality of FFP rules. Since its introduction in 2010, the compatibility of FFP with EU law, especially in terms of free movement and competition law, has been a continued point of contention amongst the parties concerned and commentators (see discussion here, here and here). It was only a matter of time that a case would arise to test this issue and the present circumstances seem to indicate that this may go all the way.                                 

Regardless, the ban will not be enforced this season and in light of the appeal process, it is hard to predict when the CFCB’s decision will have any effect. Indeed, Manchester City has shown an incredible willingness to fighting this out in the courts and shows no signs of backing down. The next stop will be the CAS and perhaps followed by the Swiss Federal Tribunal. It should also be recalled that the CAS has already examined FFP in its Galatasaray award, where it found FFP compatible with EU law (see commentary here). There is even a decent chance that this emerging saga may end up in front of the European Commission and eventually the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Sun Yang CAS award published

After a much-anticipated public hearing, the Panel’s award in the Sun Yang case has finally been published, sanctioning Sun Yang with an eight-year period of ineligibility (see here for a detailed commentary). The decision does not reveal anything groundbreaking in terms of its legal reasoning and in many ways the case will most likely be remembered for its historical significance: the case that jumpstarted a new era of increased public hearings at the CAS.

Perhaps of some interest is the extent to which the panel took into account Sun Yang’s behavior during the proceedings in order to support its assessment of the case. For example, the panel describes how Sun Yang had ignored the procedural rules of the hearing by inviting ‘an unknown and unannounced person from the public gallery to join him at his table and act as an impromptu interpreter’. The Panel interpreted this as Sun Yang attempting ‘to take matters into his own hands’ which it found resembled the athlete’s behavior in the case (see para 358). The Panel also found it ‘striking’ that Sun Yang did not express any remorse concerning his actions during the proceedings. Since the proceedings were held publicly and have been recorded, it is possible to verify the Panel’s assessment in this regard.

In the end, it is possible that Sun Yang may seek to reduce the period of ineligibility once the 2021 WADA Code comes into force (see para 368). For now, Sung Yang may also try to appeal the award to the Swiss Federal Tribunal on procedural grounds, and has already indicated his wish to do so. More...

Mega-sporting events and human rights: What role can EU sports diplomacy play? - Conference Report – By Thomas Terraz

Editor’s note: Thomas Terraz is a fourth year LL.B. candidate at the International and European Law programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with a specialisation in European Law. Currently he is pursuing an internship at the T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on International and European Sports Law.


1.     Introduction

 On March 05, the T.M.C. Asser Institute hosted ‘Mega-sporting events and human rights: What role can EU sports diplomacy play?’ a Multiplier Sporting Event organized in the framework of a European research project on ‘Promoting a Strategic Approach to EU Sports Diplomacy’. This project funded by the European Commission through its Erasmus+ program aims to help the EU adopt a strategic approach to sports diplomacy and to provide evidence of instances where sport can help amplify EU diplomatic messages and forge better relations with third countries. In particular, Antoine Duval from the Asser Institute is focusing on the role of EU sports diplomacy to strengthen human rights in the context of mega sporting events (MSE) both in Europe and abroad. To this end, he organized the two panels of the day focusing, on the one hand, on the ability of sport governing bodies (SGB) to leverage their diplomatic power to promote human rights, particularly in the context of MSEs and, on the other, on the EU’s role and capacity to strengthened human rights around MSEs. The following report summarizes the main points raised during the discussions. More...

Special Issue Call for Papers: Legal Aspects of Fantasy Sports - International Sports Law Journal

The International Sports Law Journal (ISLJ) invites submissions to a special issue focusing on legal aspects of fantasy sports. For some time, fantasy sports has been a major phenomena in North America and this has been reflected in the sports law literature. Fantasy sports have more recently grown in popularity in the rest of world, raising a number of novel legal questions. The ISLJ wants to support fruitful global discussions about these questions through a special issue. We welcome contributions from different jurisdictions analyzing fantasy sports from the perspective of various areas of law including, but not limited to, intellectual property law, gambling law, and competition law.

Please submit proposed papers through the ISLJ submission system ( no later than November 15, 2020. Submissions should have a reccomended length of 8,000–12,000 words and be prepared in accordance with the ISLJ's house style guidelines ( All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer review.

Question about the special issue can be directed to the Editor–in-Chief, Johan Lindholm (

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – January 2020 - By Thomas Terraz

Editor's note: This report compiles the most relevant legal news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. 


The Headlines

IOC Athlete Commission releases its Rule 50 Guidelines for Tokyo 2020

The IOC Athlete Commission presented its Rule 50 Guidelines for Tokyo 2020 at its annual joint meeting with the IOC Executive Board. It comes as Thomas Bach had recently underlined the importance of political neutrality for the IOC and the Olympic Games in his New Year’s message. Generally, rule 50 of the Olympic Charter prohibits any political and religious expression by athletes and their team during the Games, subject to certain exceptions. The Guidelines clarify that this includes the ‘field of play’, anywhere inside the Olympic Village, ‘during Olympic medal ceremonies’ and ‘during the Opening, Closing and other official ceremonies’. On the other hand, athletes may express their views ‘during press conferences and interview’, ‘at team meetings’ and ‘on digital or traditional media, or on other platforms. While rule 50 is nothing new, the Guidelines have reignited a debate on whether it could be considered as a justified restriction on one’s freedom of expression.


The IOC has made the case that it is defending the neutrality of sport and that the Olympics is an international forum that should help bring people together instead of focusing on divisions. Specifically, Richard Pound has recently made the argument that the Guidelines have been formulated by the athletes themselves and are a justified restriction on free expression with its basis in ‘mutual respect’. However, many commentators have expressed their skepticism to this view (see here, here and here) citing that politics and the Olympics are inherently mixed, that the IOC is heavily involved in politics, and that the Olympics has often served as the grounds for some of history’s most iconic political protests. All in all, the Guidelines have certainly been a catalyst for a discussion on the extent to which the Olympics can be considered neutral. It also further highlights a divide between athlete committees from within the Olympic Movement structures and other independent athlete representation groups (see Global Athlete and FIFPro’s statements on rule 50).


Doping and Corruption Allegations in Weightlifting 

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has found itself embroiled in a doping and corruption scandal after an ARD documentary was aired early in January which raised a wide array of allegations, including against the President of the IWF, Tamás Aján. The documentary also included hidden camera interviews from a Thai Olympic medalist who admits having taken anabolic steroids before having won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games and from a team doctor from the Moldovan national team who describes paying for clean doping tests. The IWF’s initial reaction to the documentary was hostile, describing the allegations as ‘insinuations, unfounded accusations and distorted information’ and ‘categorically denies the unsubstantiated’ accusations. It further claims that it has ‘immediately acted’ concerning the situation with the Thai athletes, and WADA has stated that it will follow up with the concerned actors. However, as the matter gained further attention in the main stream media and faced increasing criticism, the IWF moved to try to ‘restore’ its reputation. In practice, this means that Tamás Aján has ‘delegated a range of operation responsibilities’ to Ursual Papandrea, IWF Vice President, while ‘independent experts’ will conduct a review of the allegations made in the ARD documentary. Richard McLaren has been announced to lead the investigation and ‘is empowered to take whatever measures he sees fit to ensure each and every allegation is fully investigated and reported’. The IWF has also stated that it will open a whistleblower line to help aid the investigation.More...

How 2019 Will Shape the International Sports Law of the 2020s - By Thomas Terraz

Editor’s note: Thomas Terraz is a fourth year LL.B. candidate at the International and European Law programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with a specialisation in European Law. Currently he is pursuing an internship at the T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on International and European Sports Law.


1.     Introduction

As we begin plunging into a new decade, it can be helpful to look back and reflect on some of the most influential developments and trends from 2019 that may continue to shape international sports law in 2020 and beyond. Hence, this piece will not attempt to recount every single sports law news item but rather identify a few key sports law stories of 2019 that may have a continued impact in the 2020s. The following sections are not in a particular order.More...

Free Event! Mega-sporting events and human rights: What role can EU sports diplomacy play? - 5 March at the Asser Institute in The Hague

The upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and its links to human rights violations has been the subject of many debates in the media and beyond. In particular, the respect of migrant workers’ labour rights was at the forefront of much public criticisms directed against FIFA. Similarly, past Olympics in Rio, Sochi or Beijing have also been in the limelight for various human rights issues, such as the lack of freedom of the press, systematic discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or forced evictions. These controversies have led sports governing bodies (SGBs) to slowly embrace human rights as an integral part of their core values and policies. Leading to an increased expectation for SGBs to put their (private) diplomatic capital at the service of human rights by using their leverage vis-à-vis host countries of their mega-sporting events (MSEs). In turn, this also raises the question of the need for the EU to accompany this change by putting human rights at the heart of its own sports diplomacy.

Research collective 
This Multiplier Sporting Event, organised in the framework of the transnational project on ‘Promoting a Strategic Approach to EU Sports Diplomacy’ funded by the Erasmus + Programme, aims to trigger discussions on the role of an EU sports diplomacy in strengthening respect for human rights in the context of MSEs both at home and abroad. It will feature two roundtables focused on the one hand on the diplomatic power and capacity of SGBs to fend for human rights during MSEs and on the other on the EU’s integration of human rights considerations linked to MSEs in its own sports diplomacy.


13:20 – 14:00 – Welcome and opening speech –Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
14:00 - 15:30 - Panel 1: Leveraging the Diplomatic Power of the Sports Governing Bodies for Human Rights

  • Lucy Amis (Unicef UK/Institute for Human Rights and Business)
  • Guido Battaglia (Centre for Sport and Human Rights)
  • Florian Kirschner (World Players Association/UNI Global Union)
  • Claire Jenkin (University of Hertfordshire)

15:30 – 16:00 - Coffee Break

16:00 - 17:30 - Panel 2: A Human Rights Dimension for the EU’s Sports Diplomacy?

  • Arnout Geeraert (Utrecht University)
  • Agata Dziarnowska (European Commission)
  • Alexandre Mestre (Sport and Citizenship)
  • Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (TBC)

17:30 - Reception

Balancing Athletes’ Interests and The Olympic Partner Programme: the Bundeskartellamt’s Rule 40 Decision - By Thomas Terraz

Editor’s note: Thomas Terraz is a fourth year LL.B. candidate at the International and European Law programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with a specialisation in European Law. Currently he is pursuing an internship at the T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on International and European Sports Law.


1        Introduction

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), after many years of ineffective pushback (see here, here and here) over bye law 3 of rule 40[1] of the Olympic Charter (OC), which restricts the ability of athletes and their entourage to advertise themselves during the ‘blackout’ period’[2] (also known as the ‘frozen period’) of the Olympic Games, may have been gifted a silver bullet to address a major criticism of its rules. This (potentially) magic formula was handed down in a relatively recent decision of the Bundeskartellamt, the German competition law authority, which elucidated how restrictions to athletes’ advertisements during the frozen period may be scrutinized under EU competition law. The following blog begins by explaining the historical and economic context of rule 40 followed by the facts that led to the decision of the Bundeskartellamt. With this background, the decision of the Bundeskartellamt is analyzed to show to what extent it may serve as a model for EU competition law authorities. More...

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – November and December 2019- By Thomas Terraz

Editor's note: This report compiles the most relevant legal news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. 


The Headlines

WADA Conference and the Adoption of 2021 WADA Code Amid Calls for Reform

On November 5-7, WADA held its Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport where it faced a busy schedule, including the adoption of the revised 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and the election of a new WADA President and Vice-President by the Foundation Board. Concerning the latter, Witold Bańka, Poland’s Minister of Sport and Tourism, was elected as WADA President and Yang Yang, a former Chinese speed skater, elected as Vice-President, replacing Sir Craig Reedie and Linda Helleland respectively.  As Helleland leaves her position, she has expressed some strong views on the state of sport governance, particularly that ‘there is an absence of good governance, openness and independence in the highest levels of international sports’. Helleland was not the only one to recently voice governance concerns, as Rob Koehler, Director General of Global Athlete, also called for a ‘wholesale structural change at WADA’, which includes giving ‘independent’ athletes a vote in WADA’s Foundation Board, ensuring a greater ‘separation of powers’ and ensuring greater protection of athletes’ rights.

In the midst of the calls for reform, the amended 2021 WADA Code and the amended International Standards were also adopted after a two year, three stage code review process. Furthermore, a major milestone in athletes’ rights was achieved with the adoption of the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Acts (separate from the WADA Code), which enumerates certain basic rights to help ‘ensure that Athlete rights within anti-doping are clearly set out, accessible, and universally applicable’. On the other hand, the Act ‘is not a legal document’, which clearly circumscribes some of the potential effects the Act may have. Nonetheless, athlete representative groups have ‘cautiously welcomed’ some of the changes brought by the 2021 WADA Code, such as the ‘modified sanctions for substances of abuse violations’.

Sung Yang’s Historical Public Hearing at the CAS

After much anticipation, the second public hearing in CAS history occurred on November 15 in Montreux, Switzerland in the Sun Yang case (details of this case were discussed in August and September’s monthly report), which was livestreamed and can be seen in its totality in four different parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). This was an extremely unique opportunity, which hopefully will become a more common occurrence, to see just how CAS hearings are conducted and perhaps get a taste of some of the logistical issues that can emerge during live oral hearings. One of these problems, accurate translations, rapidly became apparent as soon as Sun Yang sat in the witness chair to give his opening statements. The translators in the box seemed to struggle to provide an intelligible English interpretation of Sun Yang and other witnesses’ statements, while Sun Yang also seemingly had trouble understanding the translated questions being posed to him. The situation degenerated to such an extent that ultimately one of WADA’s officials was called to replace the translators. However, the translation drama did not end there, since during Sun Yang’s closing statements an almost seemingly random person from the public appeared next to Sun Yang who claimed to have been requested from Sun Yang’s team to ‘facilitate’ the translation. Franco Frattini, president of the panel, questioned the identity of the ‘facilitator’ and explained that one could not just simply appear before the court without notice. Interestingly, Sun Yang’s legal team also rapidly intervened claiming that it had not been made of aware of the inclusion of the supporting translator, further complicating the matter. In the end, Sun Yang concluded his statements with the translation from the WADA official.

While it was Sun Yang’s legal team that had provided the original translators in the box, it still raises the question as to how translation at CAS could be improved to ensure a certain standard of translators. After all, quality translation is critical to the parties’ right to be heard under Article 6 (e) ECHR. Regardless, in the end, neither parties made an objection that their right to be heard was violated.

Russian Doping Saga Continues: WADA Compliance Review Committee Recommends Strong Sanctions

As was already discussed in August and September’s monthly report, WADA uncovered numerous inconsistencies concerning data taken from the Moscow Laboratory. After further investigation, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee has recommended that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be found non-compliant with the WADA Code. Accompanying the recommendation, the Compliance Review Committee also suggested several sanctions, which include prohibiting Russian athletes from participating in major events like the Olympic Games and ‘any World Championships organized or sanctioned by any Signatory’ for the next four years unless they may ‘dmonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance’. It would also see an embargo on events hosted in Russia during the same period. However, these sanctions did not go far enough for some, like Travis Tygart, chief executive of USADA, who wishes to prevent a repeat of Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 ‘in which a secretly-managed process permitting Russians to compete – did not work’. On the other hand, the IOC has advocated for a softer, individual based approach that pursues ‘the rules of natural justice and respect human rights’. In the midst of these developments, the Athletics Integrity Unit also decided to charge several members of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), including its President Dmitry Shlyakhtin, after a 15 month investigation for ‘tampering and complicity’ concerning a Russian athlete’s whereabouts violations.

Following many calls for strong consequences, the WADA Executive Committee met on December 9th and adopted the recommendations of the Compliance Review Committee. Athlete representatives have expressed their disappointment with the sanctions, calling the decision ‘spineless’ since it did not pursue a complete ban on Russian participation at events such as Euro 2020 and the 2020 Olympics. At this point, RUSADA has sent notice to WADA that it will be disputing the decision of WADA’s Executive Committee’s decision at the CAS.More...

Is UCI the new ISU? Analysing Velon’s Competition Law Complaint to the European Commission - By Thomas Terraz

Editor’s note: Thomas Terraz is a fourth year LL.B. candidate at the International and European Law programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with a specialisation in European Law. Currently he is pursuing an internship at the T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on International and European Sports Law.


1.     Introduction

The UCI may soon have to navigate treacherous legal waters after being the subject of two competition law based complaints (see here and here) to the European Commission in less than a month over rule changes and decisions made over the past year. One of these complaints stems from Velon, a private limited company owned by 11 out of the 18 World Tour Teams,[1] and the other comes from the Lega del Ciclismo Professionistico, an entity based in Italy representing an amalgamation of stakeholders in Italian professional cycling. While each of the complaints differ on the actual substance, the essence is the same: both are challenging the way the UCI exercises its regulatory power over cycling because of a growing sense that the UCI is impeding the development of cycling as a sport. Albeit in different ways: Velon sees the UCI infringing on its ability to introduce new race structures and technologies; the Lega del Ciclismo Professionistico believes the UCI is cutting opportunities for semi-professional cycling teams, the middle ground between the World Tour Teams and the amateur teams.

While some of the details remain vague, this blog will aim to unpack part of the claims made by Velon in light of previous case law from both the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to give a preliminary overview of the main legal issues at stake and some of the potential outcomes of the complaint. First, it will be crucial to understand just who/what Velon is before analyzing the substance of Velon’s complaint. More...

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – October 2019 by Thomas Terraz

Editor's note: This report compiles the most relevant legal news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. 

The Headlines

International Sports Law Journal (ISLJ) Conference 2019

The T.M.C. Asser Institute and the Asser International Sports Law Centre held the third International Sports Law Journal (ISLJ) Conference on October 24-25. The Conference created a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss, debate and share knowledge on the latest developments of sports law. It featured six uniquely themed panels, which included topics such as ‘Transfer systems in international sports’ and ‘Revisiting the (in)dependence and transparency of the CAS’ to ‘The future of sports: sports law of the future’. The ISLJ Conference was also honored to have two exceptional keynote speakers: Moya Dodd and Ulrich Haas. To kick off the conference, Moya Dodd shared her experiences from an athlete’s perspective in the various boardrooms of FIFA. The second day was then launched by Ulrich Haas, who gave an incredibly thorough and insightful lecture on the importance, function and legal basis of association tribunals in international sport. For a detailed overview of this year’s ISLJ Conference, click here for the official conference report.

The Asser International Sports Law Centre was delighted to have been able to host another great edition of the ISLJ Conference and is thankful to all the participants and speakers who made this edition such a success.

Moving towards greater transparency: Launch of FIFA’s Legal Portal

On October 31, FIFA announced that it was introducing a new legal portal on its website that will give greater access to numerous documents that previously were kept private. FIFA explains that this is in order to help increase its transparency, which was one of the key ‘Guiding Principles’ highlighted in FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future released in 2016. This development comes as many sport governing bodies face increasing criticism for the opacity of its judicial bodies’ decisions, which can have tremendous economic and societal impacts. The newly available documents will include: ‘decisions rendered on the merits by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and the FIFA Appeal Committee (notified as of 1 January 2019); decisions rendered on the merits by the FIFA Ethics Committee (notified since 1 January 2019); decisions rendered on the merits by the FIFA Players’ Status Committee and the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber; non-confidential CAS awards in proceedings to which FIFA is a party (notified since 1 January 2019); list of CAS arbitrators proposed by FIFA for appointment by ICAS, and the number of times they have been nominated in CAS proceedings’. The list of decisions from all the aforementioned bodies are updated every four months, according to their respective webpages. However, time will ultimately tell how consistently decisions are published. Nevertheless, this move is a major milestone in FIFA’s journey towards increasing its transparency.

Hong Kong Protests, Human Rights and (e)Sports Law: The Blizzard and NBA controversies

Both Blizzard, a major video game developer, and the NBA received a flurry of criticism for their responses to persons expressing support for the Hong Kong protests over the past month. On October 8, Blizzard sanctioned Blitzchung, a professional Hearthstone player who expressed support of the Hong Kong protest during a post-match interview, by eliminating the prize money he had won and suspending him for one year from any Hearthstone tournament. Additionally, Blizzard will cease to work with the casters who conducted the interview. With mounting disapproval over the sanctions,  J. Allen Brack, the president of Blizzard, restored the prize money and reduced the period of ineligibility to 6 months.

The NBA controversy started when Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted his support for the protests in Hong Kong. The tweet garnered much attention, especially in China where it received a lot of backlash, including an announcement from CCTV, the official state broadcaster in China, that it was suspending all broadcasts of the NBA preseason games. In attempts to appease its Chinese audience, which is a highly profitable market for the NBA, Morey deleted the tweet and posted an apology, and the NBA responded by saying that the initial tweet was ‘regrettable’. Many scolded these actions and accused the NBA of censorship to which the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, responded that the NBA remains committed to freedom of expression.

Both cases highlighted how (e)sport organizations may be faced with competing interests to either guarantee greater protection of human rights or to pursue interests that perhaps have certain financial motivations. More...

Asser International Sports Law Blog | How Data Protection Crystallises Key Legal Challenges in Anti-Doping - By Marjolaine Viret

Asser International Sports Law Blog

Our International Sports Law Diary
The Asser International Sports Law Centre is part of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut

How Data Protection Crystallises Key Legal Challenges in Anti-Doping - By Marjolaine Viret

Editor's Note: Marjolaine is a researcher and attorney admitted to the Geneva bar (Switzerland) who specialises in sports and life sciences. Her interests focus on interdisciplinary approaches as a way of designing effective solutions in the field of anti-doping and other science-based domains. Her book “Evidence in Anti-Doping at the Intersection of Science & Law” was published through T.M.C Asser Press / Springer in late 2015. She participates as a co-author on a project hosted by the University of Neuchâtel to produce the first article-by-article legal commentary of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code. In her practice, she regularly advises international federations and other sports organisations on doping and other regulatory matters, in particular on aspects of scientific evidence, privacy or research regulation. She also has experience assisting clients in arbitration proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport or other sport tribunals.

Since the spectre of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) has loomed over the sports sector,[1] a new wind seems to be blowing on anti-doping, with a palpable growing interest for stakes involved in data processing. Nothing that would quite qualify as a wind of change yet, but a gentle breeze of awareness at the very least.

Though the GDPR does mention the fight against doping in sport as a potential matter of public health in its recitals,[2] EU authorities have not gone so far as to create a standalone ground on which anti-doping organisations could rely to legitimise their data processing. Whether or not anti-doping organisations have a basis to process personal data – and specifically sensitive data – as part of their anti-doping activities, thus remains dependent on the peculiarities of each national law. Even anti-doping organisations that are incorporated outside the EU are affected to the extent they process data about athletes in the EU.[3] This includes international sports federations, many of which are organised as private associations under Swiss law. Moreover, the Swiss Data Protection Act (‘DPA’) is currently under review, and the revised legal framework should largely mirror the GDPR, subject to a few Swiss peculiarities. All anti-doping organisations undertake at a minimum to abide by the WADA International Standard for Privacy and the Protection of Personal Information (‘ISPPPI’), which has been adapted with effect to 1 June 2018 and enshrines requirements similar to those of the GDPR. However, the ISPPPI stops short of actually referring to the GDPR and leaves discretion for anti-doping organisations to adapt to other legislative environments.

The purpose of this blog is not to offer a detailed analysis of the requirements that anti-doping organisations must abide by under data protection laws, but to highlight how issues around data processing have come to crystallise key challenges that anti-doping organisations face globally. Some of these challenges have been on the table since the adoption of the first edition of the World Anti-Doping Code (‘WADC’) but are now exposed in the unforgiving light of data protection requirements.

Who is who and who does what?

It is hardly a scoop for those familiar with the World Anti-Doping Program to state that its structures are complex, relying on an intricate network of private entities as well as public (or quasi-public) agencies, each subject to their own applicable laws. The World Anti-Doping Program has always struggled with reconciling its objectives of global harmonisation with the sovereignty and diversity of national laws. National Anti-Doping Organisations (‘NADO’s) operate at the national level; they are in charge of doping issues across all sports in one country and are endowed with more or less extensive enforcement powers depending on their country’s regulatory approach to the sport sector. By contrast, international federations claim exclusive governance over one sport worldwide, uniformly and without regard to national borders but have to do so with the instruments available to private entities based on contractual or similar tools of private autonomy.

Over time, the WADC has been repeatedly updated to strike a balance between the two (national versus international) spheres and avoid positive or negative conflicts of competence. Provisions seek to clarify attributions in areas where international- and national-level competences collide, such as roles in Therapeutic Use Exemption (‘TUE’) management, testing authority, or results management responsibilities.[4] Even as it is, there is no safeguard to prevent disputes from arising about the proper authority to investigate and initiate proceedings for doping.[5]

Data processing activities are not exempted from the difficulties that accompany the complexity of anti-doping. If anything, these difficulties are rather exacerbated by data protection laws. In particular, the GDPR seeks to create a framework within which data subjects can easily recognise when data is being processed about them, by whom and to what aim(s), and whom to turn to in order to exercise their rights. This forces anti-doping organisations to be precise and unambiguous about their respective roles and attributions among themselves and chiefly towards the data subjects, the athletes subject to doping control.

The GDPR draws a distinction between two major categories of entities that process personal data: an entity can be characterised either as a data ‘controller’, or as a data ‘processor’. A controller is defined as an entity which “alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data”. A processor is an entity “which processes personal data on behalf of” a controller.[6]

The distinction may seem rather straightforward at first sight: the controller has a personal or commercial interest in the data processing and decides which data to collect, from whom, and through what means. At the other end of the spectrum, a ‘typical’ processor receives documented instructions from a controller and merely implements these instructions with no autonomy of decision or an autonomy limited to technical issues and logistics. However, interrelationships are often much more subtle in reality with considerable room for borderline situations: multiple controllers may need to agree on their (joint) controllership of the data while operating alongside entities that may act in part as processors, in part as controllers of their own right for different aspects of the data processing.[7]

In anti-doping, more than half a dozen entities may be involved in a routine doping control activity, between test planning and the outcome of a disciplinary process. All of these will either collect or gain access to athlete data, including sensitive data, as illustrated by the following: an international federation decides to conduct blood testing on an athlete from its registered testing pool but delegates sample collection to the NADO of the country in which the athlete is currently residing. To do so, the NADO has access to the athlete’s whereabouts filings through the ADAMS database, managed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (‘WADA’). The NADO itself carries out sample collection through a private service provider with its dedicated blood control officers and decides to use the opportunity to order, in addition, the collection of urine samples from the athlete. Upon sampling, the athlete is asked to fill in the doping control form in front of the doping control personnel, which includes disclosing several ongoing medication courses in the dedicated box. Samples are then transported, in a de-identified (‘coded’) form, by private courier from the country of collection to the international federation’s usual WADA-accredited laboratory in a different country.

Assuming the laboratory reports an adverse analytical finding in the blood sample, the international federation requests a full documentation package from the laboratory and verifies whether a Therapeutic Use Exemption on the record could be related to the adverse analytical finding. Upon notification of the results and public announcement of the immediate provisional suspension, the athlete requests the analysis of the B sample, thereby de facto lifting the code on the A sample where the laboratory is concerned. The athlete submits a series of explanations regarding the possible causes for the adverse analytical finding, including a report from his treating physician regarding a medical condition that might account for the findings. The international federation may send the laboratory documentation package and athlete explanations to external experts for additional input and then hands over the file to its external anti-doping tribunal members. Most data will at some point have to pass through the ADAMS database and be stored within that database for up to ten years. However, it may also be communicated by other (electronic or physical) means among anti-doping organisations and their service providers and experts.

Once the disciplinary decision is issued, its main elements are publicly disclosed by the international federation on its website, and the decision shared with WADA and any NADO having jurisdiction over the athlete. The NADO further decides to send the negative urine sample for long-term storage and possible reanalysis to the WADA-accredited laboratory that provides its storage facilities.

The above description represents an imaginary but ultimately rather standard situation for anti-doping organisations. It does not seem too far-fetched to identify that the international federation at the very least acts as a controller of the athlete data processed. However, a NADO who receives instructions to collect samples and also decides to collect additional data (and additional biological materials) on its own and for its own purposes, potentially acts as both a processor and controller depending on the data at stake. A number of processors and sub-processors are involved in the process as service providers, while the qualification of external experts may have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. WADA offers the ADAMS database as an IT infrastructure for data storage and sharing for the international federation and NADO but also uses the data to fulfil its own obligations and purposes under the WADC, such as exercising its appeal rights or verifying compliance of the anti-doping organisations with their duties. Arguably, at the very least there will be three controllers of data (international federation, NADO, and WADA) in addition to multiple processors and sub-processors.

Characterising the role of each entity as a ‘controller’ or as a ‘processor’ is far from being of academic interest only. The two types of entities have distinct responsibilities and requirements for lawful processing. Appropriate contractual arrangements need to be set up among the entities involved, and data subjects must be informed of these in a comprehensible manner allowing them to exercise their rights. Controllers have primary responsibility for dealing with data subject requests and responding to supervisory authorities and have a more extensive scope of liability across the entire scope of data processing. By contrast, processors are, in essence, only liable for their own processing activities and merely undertake to support the controllers in their obligations towards data subjects and authorities.[8]

There is one other important difference that carries special significance in the context of anti-doping: a processor who acts under instructions can rely on the processing contract with the controller responsible for the data as a lawful basis for processing.[9] By contrast, if two or more parties qualify as controllers in their own right, each controller needs to secure its individual lawful basis with respect to the data subjects. The requirement of lawful processing is entwined with the discussion around the validity of ‘consent’ to anti-doping regulations.

Lawful basis and problematic character of consent

Processing of personal data under the GDRP requires a lawful basis. As relevant to our topic, three types of legitimising grounds co-exist: i.) grounds rooted in private autonomy (consent or necessity for performance of a contract with the data subject), ii.) grounds relying on public interest or overriding interests of the controller (e.g. pursuing a legal claim), or iii.) a specific basis in Union or national law, e.g. for performance of a substantial public interest or public health task.[10] Not all grounds enter into consideration for every category of data; special categories of data – also known as ‘sensitive’ data under the DPA – have a more limited number of valid processing grounds.[11] Obviously, a major part of data processed as part of doping control qualifies as sensitive data as it relates to health,[12] including the data gathered through analysis of doping control samples or collected as part of TUE applications.

The traditional way for international sports organisations to impose their rules on their ultimate addressees, i.e., the individual athletes, has been through contract, quasi-contractual chains of submission, or other instruments involving a declaration of consent. The validity of consent on the part of those who submit to anti-doping regulations is a recurring matter for debate, in particular as its informed and voluntary character is generally described at best as limited and more frequently as purely illusory. The issue has been scrutinised in particular with respect to submission to proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’),[13] which the WADC imposes as a legal remedy in international doping disputes. While acknowledging the ‘constrained’ nature of the athlete’s consent, the Swiss Supreme Court accepts the validity of arbitration clauses in sports regulations in the name of the needs for swift and competent resolution of sport disputes. It has, however, imposed certain limits on the extent to which an athlete can entrust their fate to the sports resolution system. As decided in the Cañas v. ATP case, an athlete cannot validly waive in advance the right to challenge the CAS award in front of the Supreme Court in disciplinary matters.[14] In Pechstein v. Switzerland, the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’) was asked to discuss the status of an arbitration clause in the context of doping proceedings. It reached the same conclusion that the only choice offered to the athlete was either to accept the clause in order to be able to make a living by practising her sport at a professional level or to refuse it and completely give up on practising at such level. As a result of this restriction on the athlete’s professional life, it was not possible to argue that she accepted the clause ‘in a free and unequivocal manner’.[15]

In both cases, the findings were ultimately of little consequence for the sports sector. The Swiss Supreme Court only reviews CAS awards through an extremely narrow lens so that the power to set strategic jurisprudence in sports matters remains with the CAS panels, whether or not athletes retain their rights to challenge the award. Similarly, in the Claudia Pechstein matter, the only shortcoming found in the ruling was the lack of an option for a public hearing in CAS proceedings. Absence of genuine consent has thus been – expressly or implicitly – compensated for by courts through procedural safeguards, in an effort to ensure that athletes still benefit overall from a system of justice broadly compliant with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Data protection issues create a greater challenge here, since the GDPR explicitly requires consent to be ‘freely given’, in addition to being informed.[16] The same is true under the Swiss DPA.[17] The GDPR does not accommodate compensatory mechanisms to account for the ‘fictional’ character of consent in the sports context: consent that is not optional is not free, and consent that is not free is not valid. Importantly, free consent also presupposes that consent can be withdrawn at any time as easily as it was given and without significant detrimental consequences for the data subject.[18]

I will not delve here into how anti-doping organisations can fulfil the requirement of ‘informed consent’, which as per the GDPR requires “intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language”.[19] The template information notices (here and here) proposed by WADA currently in effect inform athletes, in essence, that their data may be processed based on various legal grounds, may be accessed by various entities around the world according to various data protections laws, which may offer them various levels of protection, and that they may have various rights and obligations under these laws. It is questionable whether explanations in this form would satisfy the requirements for informed consent. Still, adequate information appears at least achievable with appropriate and individualised legal drafting supported by a data protection specialist. The question of free consent is a much more delicate one since it is not in the hands of anti-doping organisations to give athletes a genuine choice in this respect.

In spite of the potential financial implications, one could argue that consent is freely given where the athlete can choose at any time to withdraw consent to data processing, with the sole consequence of losing the benefit of the services attached to the ‘contractual’ relationship with their sports authorities, i.e. the right to participate in sports competitions. This would, for example, suppose that an athlete notified of a testing attempt could elect to either submit or instead declare immediate retirement from sport without any further consequences. Under the current rules, however, such withdrawal of consent would trigger disciplinary sanctions, which may include ineligibility or fines depending on the sport, and in any event, will have a significant impact on the athlete’s reputation. The templates proposed by WADA explicitly warn athletes about these consequences, as well as the fact that anti-doping organisations may retain and continue processing their data in spite of any withdrawal (see here and here). In fact, the WADC provides that the results management and disciplinary process may be initiated or may continue in spite of the athlete announcing their retirement from sport.[20]

To this day, one is still awaiting a realistic proposal that would allow consent to anti-doping regulations to be genuinely freely given. Most stakeholders would agree that there is no viable manner of making compliance with anti-doping rules optional for athletes without undermining the very notion of a level playing field.[21] Unlike the relatively benign implications that lack of genuine consent had for the sport dispute resolution system so far, the impossibility of creating the prerequisites for free consent to anti-doping regulations is far more consequential in the data protection context. Indeed, it precludes reliance on consent as a reliable lawful basis that can be used globally by international sports governing bodies to secure the lawfulness of their data processing. This is the case unless courts would be willing to go against the explicit wording of data protection laws and tolerate ‘forced’ consent as a lawful basis in the context of sport.

As the Swiss Federal Council noted in their official communication on the Swiss Sport Act, the questionable validity of athlete consent makes it necessary to create express legal provisions authorising anti-doping organisations to collect and process personal data for anti-doping purposes.[22] Under the GDPR, processing sensitive data relying on an interest of substantial public or public health interest equally requires a legal basis in EU or relevant national law of a member state. Without intervention of national lawmakers to recognise anti-doping as a matter of ‘substantial public interest’ or ‘public health’ interest and identify those entities that are entitled by law to process data together with an appropriate description of the admissible scope and purposes for such processing, sports organisations will continue to rest on shaky ground when it comes to data processing and in particular processing of sensitive data.

Proportionality of treatment

The issue of proportionality is relevant for almost any component of an anti-doping system. It is recognised by CAS panels and courts as an internationally accepted standard,[23] as part of the assessment for deciding whether an encroachment upon individual freedoms is justifiable and justified in any given case. Proportionality is frequently debated in connection with the severity of the disciplinary sanctions set forth in the WADC,[24] but it is also a test that every other aspect of the regulation must stand up to.[25]

An important limb of the proportionality test is the ‘necessity’ of a measure having regard to the rights affected. This aspect was recently addressed by the European Court for Human Rights in the context of French legislation on the whereabouts regime applicable to professional athletes and its compatibility with privacy: “the general‑interest considerations that make them necessary are particularly important and, in the Court’s view, justify the restrictions on the applicants’ rights under Article 8 of the Convention. Reducing or removing the requirements of which the applicants complain would be liable to increase the dangers of doping to their health and that of the entire sporting community, and would run counter to the European and international consensus on the need for unannounced testing.”[26] The ECtHR conducted its assessment with respect to the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights without having regard to specific data protection provisions.

The requirement of proportionality is a pillar of data protection in all its aspects, from the decision to collect the data to its retention. It is enshrined both in the GDPR and in the DPA[27] and is notably also highlighted in the WADA ISPPPI.[28] Concerns about proportionality of the anti-doping system were expressed by EU data protection advisory authorities as early as 2008,[29] and numerous exchanges with WADA have ensued.[30] Various adjustments have been made to the ISPPPI since then with a significant review to adapt the ISPPPI to the GDPR requirements, and a new set of WADA Guidelines adopted in 2018.

Still, the threats on proportionality are bound to be ubiquitous in a context where standardisation is a guiding principle of regulation. For example, the ISPPPI (Annex A) enshrines retention times based on different categories of data (TUE, samples, whereabouts, etc.), but with only two different retention periods overall: 18 months (newly being reconsidered in the draft revised version as 12 months) or 10 years. These have been criticised again in the ongoing stakeholder consultation process as being insufficiently differentiated to be adequate.[31] Indeed, while a column in the Annex formally indicates for each category that the retention time has been chosen based on “necessity” or “proportionality” criteria, Annex A states in limine that the limitation to two retention periods is “for practical reasons”. These justifications cannot be easily reconciled. To properly account for proportionality, anti-doping organisations would need to conduct their own assessment in a more individualised fashion, adapted to their athlete pool and sport. However, as in many other domains of doping control, one wonders how many of them will have the resources, competences and willingness to look beyond WADA prescriptions. Also, since most of the data must be processed through the ADAMS database managed by WADA, anti-doping organisations may have limited effective power over the set-up of the data deletion process.

The proportionality principle is also connected to another fundamental requirement, which is that data processing must remain within the ‘purpose’ defined (‘purpose limitation’ principle). The ISPPPI contains a list of purposes for which anti-doping organisations may process data. However, the ISPPPI gives anti-doping organisations an option to decide to process data for other purposes related to the fight against doping, provided they carry out a documented assessment. The WADA Guidelines propose a template for ‘new purpose assessment’, and indicate that such new purpose could encompass purposes that were not contemplated in the WADC nor perhaps could even be envisaged at the time of collection. The draft revised ISPPPI seems to go even further down this line: “In certain contexts, it may be appropriate or necessary for Anti-Doping Organizations/WADA to Process Personal Information for additional purposes, […] besides those already permitted or required by the Code, the International Standard or expressly required by law, in order to engage effectively in the fight against doping”.[32] It is unclear how this assessment is to be effectively implemented especially for sensitive data, be it under the assumption of a consensual basis or of one based on national law recognising substantial public interests for anti-doping activities. In both cases, if the actual purposes for which the data may be used are in limbo awaiting potential reassessment for ‘new’ purposes, it is questionable whether informed consent or a sufficiently predictable legal basis respectively could even be created.[33]

As the claims for more ‘evidence-based’ approaches and stronger monitoring of anti-doping programs grow louder, more thought could be spent on proportionality and purpose limitation of data processing in anti-doping. Most of the discussion so far has revolved around the intrusiveness of the whereabouts requirements. Whereabouts information, however, is only collected from a limited number of high-profile athletes (i.e., those included within a registered testing pool) and is only a fraction of the data collected as part of anti-doping programs. In the FNASS et al. v. France ruling, the ECtHR essentially relied on the pleas of the anti-doping movement and governments to find that the fight against doping pursues a public health interest and implements it in a proportionate way. In doing so, the ECtHR seems to perpetuate a tendency of CAS and other courts to take policy documents and consensus statements - whether enshrined or not in international law instruments such as the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport - as proof of the reality of the claims they contain[34] without requiring much supporting evidence. In many instances, this is technically justified by placing on the contesting party the burden of demonstrating any lack of proportionality.[35] On a higher level, however, it tends to create a presumption that any doubt must benefit the cause of anti-doping.[36] This may lead to self-perpetuating policy biases based on circular reasoning by justifying new measures through previous, unverified claims.

Data protection laws, with their detailed requirements and descriptions of data subject rights, may offer a foundation for a more granular analysis than general human rights provisions under the undetermined heading of ‘privacy’. Opportunities for legal analysis may still be hindered by the fact that an argument related to data protection is hard to build into a defence when athletes – or their counsel – would typically start seriously thinking about these issues only once they become subject to investigations or discipline for a potential breach of the anti-doping rules. CAS panels have been rather generous in admitting evidence unlawfully obtained against individuals charged in disciplinary proceedings.[37] It could thus prove extremely difficult – perhaps even counter-productive as a defence strategy – for an athlete to object to the admissibility of doping control data obtained in breach of data protection laws, in particular when the objection relates to a breach that leaves as much discretion to the panel as proportionality of data collection or retention. CAS panels have repeatedly recognised the fight against doping as an interest that overrides individual freedoms without carrying out much of an individualised balance of the interests at stake. [38]  More promising impetus could come from a random athlete seeking advice from supervisory authorities through the avenues offered by his or her national data protection laws prior to exposure to a positive test or other disciplinary action. Unfortunately, much like consumers, athletes often seem to show little interest in their privacy until they are confronted with some tangible detrimental consequences.

A true plague or a real opportunity?

Some may view recent developments in data protection laws as just another headache for sports governing bodies and deplore the advent of a new hurdle for anti-doping organisations who aspire to take their tasks under the World Anti-Doping Program seriously. Anti-doping organisations advocate that they are carrying out a mission of public interest. As we have seen, this view has been supported by various bodies and courts around the world and is also reflected in the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport. However, the GDPR does not regard public interest as an absolute basis for all data processing; in particular, sensitive data cannot be processed on the sole basis of an alleged public interest unless such public interest is substantial or related to public health, and its modalities are set out in national or EU law.

In a time where the credibility of existing structures and procedures within anti-doping authorities is questioned, the challenge arising from data protection standards can also be perceived as an opportunity for the anti-doping system. The ISPPPI and related WADA Guidelines, unfortunately, do not purport to provide solutions to the various crucial challenge set out above but merely invite anti-doping organisations to act in accordance with their applicable data protection laws. They give little guidance on how this is to be achieved in the event that these laws conflict with their duties under the WADC.

Developments in data protection force anti-doping organisations to look at their structures, legal status and their relationships with other organisations within the system. These developments should also have the effect of prompting national legislators to take measures more supportive of anti-doping policies in this domain, and in particular by making sure that sports governing bodies benefit from an appropriate legal basis for processing data, including sensitive data. Given that the very purpose of the WADC is to harmonise the regulation of doping in sport worldwide and that this objective is routinely invoked to justify restrictions on athlete rights, it would seem somewhat counterintuitive not to afford all athletes the same level of protection where their data is concerned. If there is truly a general international consensus on the legitimacy of the fight against doping and this consensus is supported by the State parties to the UNESCO Convention, those States, at a minimum, must be willing to give anti-doping organisations the means to carry out their tasks in a legally sustainable manner, unless and until these States are ready to engage in a fundamental overhaul of the current system.

[1] Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. The GDPR started to apply on 25 May 2018. In theory, all entities conducting data processing activities within the scope of the GDPR ought to have secured compliance as of this effective date.

[2] Recital 112 refers to requirements for cross-border data transfers and provides: “Those derogations should in particular apply to data transfers required and necessary […] for public health, for example […] in order to reduce and/or eliminate doping in sport”.

[3] Article 3 para. 2 of the GDPR regarding territorial scope of application.

[4] See Articles 4.4 of the WADC for TUEs, 5.2 for testing, and 7.1 for results management.

[5] See e.g. CAS 2014/A/3598, 3599 & 3618, in which the authority of USADA to initiate proceedings against Johan Bruyneel and others was challenged.

[6] Article 4 (Definitions) of the GDPR. Note that a processor within the meaning of the GDPR may itself choose to delegate part of its activities to a sub-processor, if and to the extent authorised by the controller.

[7] See the guidance and examples given by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

[8] See Chapter IV of the GDPR.

[9] Article 28 para. 3 of the GDPR.

[10] Article 6 of the GDPR.

[11] Article 9 of the GDPR.

[12] Article 9 para. 1 of the GDPR; Article 3 lit. c of the DPA.

[13] See e.g. Duval A (2017) Not in My Name! Claudia Pechstein and the Post-Consensual Foundations of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2017-01; Rigozzi A & Robert-Tissot F (2015) "Consent" in Sports Arbitration: Its Multiple Aspects. In: Geisinger & Trabaldo-De Mestral (eds) Sports Arbitration: A Coach for Other Players? ASA Series 41, Jurisnet NY, pp 59-95;

[14] Swiss Supreme Court Decision, 4P.172/2006, 22 March 2007.

[15] ECtHR Decision 22 October 2018, Mutu & Pechstein v. Switzerland, no 40575/10 et 67474/10, para. 114.

[16] Article 4 (Definitions) of the GDPR.

[17] Article 4 para. 5 of the DPA.

[18] Article 7 para. 3 of the GDPR.

[19] Article 7 para. 2 of the GDPR.

[20] Article 7.11 of the WADC.

[21] Though it is often debated to what extent exactly the performance enhancing effect of individual prohibited substances and methods is established. Heuberger J, Cohen A (2018) Review of WADA Prohibited Substances: Limited Evidence for Performance-Enhancing Effects. Sports Med. 2019; 49(4): 525–539.

[22] Message du Conseil fédéral du 11 nov. 2009, FF 09.082, pp 7450/7451 : « Aujourd’hui, les contrôles antidopage relevant du sport de droit privé reposent sur une déclaration de consentement du sportif. Cette déclaration doit être librement consentie. Or, cette liberté n’est pas garantie, dans la mesure où le refus de donner son consentement peut entraîner l’exclusion de la manifestation ou la perte de la licence ».

[23] CAS 2005/C/976 & 986, FIFA & WADA, para. 138 ; CJEU decision Meca-Medina & Majcen v. Commission (C-519/04).

[24] A recent example: CAS 2018/A/5546, Guerrero v. FIFA, CAS 2018/A/5571, WADA v. FIFA & Guerrero, paras 85 et seq.; Legal Opinion by Jean-Paul Costa on the 2015 revision of the WADC.

[25] Viret (2016), Evidence in Anti-Doping at the Intersection of Science & Law, T.M.C Asser, p. 133; Since its 2015 version, the WADC has included an explicit reference to proportionality as one of the key considerations underlying its drafting. See introductory section “Purpose, Scope and Organization of the World Anti-Doping Program and the Code”.

[26]ECtHR, FNASS et al. v. France (48151/11 and 77769/13), para. 191.

[27] Article 5(1)(c) of the GDPR, whereas the data must be “adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’)”.

[28] Section 5.0 ISPPI “Processing Relevant and Proportionate Personal Information”.

[29] Art. 29 Working Party, now replaced by the European Data Protection Board under the GDPR.

[30] See collection of legal documents on WADA website.

[31] Comment to revised ISPPPI by NADA Germany, ad Annex Retention Times.

[32] Comment ad Article 5.3(d) draft ISPPPI.

[33] The EU Commission warns that extension of purpose is not possible where processing was based on consent or a provision of law without renewing the consent or creating a new legal basis.

[34] See e.g. preamble of the UNESCO Convention “Concerned by the use of doping by athletes in sport and the consequences thereof for their health, the principle of fair play, the elimination of cheating and the future of sport”.

[35] See already in CJEU decision Meca-Medina & Majcen v. Commission (C-519/04) regarding the proportionality of threshold levels.

[36] Maisonneuve Mathieu, La CEDH et les obligations de localisation des sportifs : le doute profite à la conventionnalité de la lutte contre le dopage, note sous CEDH, 5e sect., 18 January 2018, Fédération nationale des associations et des syndicats sportifs (FNASS) et autres c. France, req. Nos 48151/11 et 77769/13. Journal d’actualité des droits européenes, Centre de recherches et de documentation européennes et internationales, 2018.

[37] CAS 2016/A/4487, IAAF v. Melnikov, para. 108.

[38] CAS 2009/A/1879, Valverde v. CONI, para. 139.

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