National Anti-Doping Panel FAQ

What is the National Anti-Doping Panel?

The National Anti-Doping Panel is an independent body that determines anti-doping disputes in sport in the United Kingdom. Administered and run by Sport Resolutions, the NADP is funded by the UK government’s Department for Culture Media and Sport. Membership of the NADP is made up of a President, eleven legally qualified arbitrators and ten specialist arbitrators, all of whom have experience in high performance sport, sports science and sports medicine. The NADP is independent of UK Anti-Doping and other sporting bodies.

Do I have to pay to have my case dealt with by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP)?

There is no charge to athletes, their sport, or UK Anti-Doping for referring a case to be dealt with by the NADP. Parties appearing before the NADP are, however, responsible for the costs of any legal advice and representation they may seek to assist with their case.

Can the NADP give me advice on how to approach my case, or what chances I have of avoiding a ban if I go to a hearing?

The NADP cannot give legal advice to any party. All athletes are strongly advised to seek independent legal advice before approaching a hearing, although it is not a requirement to do so in order to have the NADP hear your case. Some athletes choose to represent themselves or attend a hearing with a coach or trusted other. The NADP Secretariat hold a list of lawyers and barristers who are willing to consider acting on a pro bono (no or low cost) basis for unrepresented athletes. Please contact Sport Resolutions for more information (resolve@sportresolutions.co.uk / 020 7036 1966).

Whilst preparing for my hearing, can I apply to the NADP to have my provisional suspension lifted to enable me to take part in an upcoming match/event?

Yes, the Anti-Doping Rules may permit you to do so. An application to have a provisional suspension lifted must be made in writing to the Secretariat of the NADP. This will be forwarded to the President of the NADP for him to determine, or, if the matter is less urgent, a Tribunal will be appointed by him in order to determine the application. Full written evidence as to why you believe you are eligible to have the provisional suspension lifted will be required, and UK Anti-Doping will be given the opportunity to respond to it. This will be considered by the President or Tribunal who will then make a ruling.

What happens when my case is referred to the NADP?

If you exercise your right to have your case heard by an independent tribunal, UK Anti-Doping will file a written Request for Arbitration with the NADP Secretariat. The President of the NADP will then appoint a tribunal of three arbitrators to adjudicate your case. The Tribunal will normally consist of a senior solicitor or barrister to chair the tribunal, alongside two other Tribunal members who have specialist expertise in high performance sport, sports science or medicine. All members of the Tribunal are required to sign a written declaration of independence. Either party may raise objections if they have concerns about the impartiality of the Tribunal. Such objections should be made in writing to the President of the NADP, c/o Sport Resolutions (see NADP Procedural Rules on Sport Resolutions’ website for more information). Once appointed, the Chairman of the Tribunal will issue written Directions, which are usually determined following a telephone conference with the parties. The Directions confirm both the dates and location of the hearing and the timetable to be followed in the lead up to the hearing. If an oral hearing is required, this will normally take place within 40 days of the case being referred to the NADP, unless otherwise requested. It is sometimes possible to accelerate proceedings and hold a hearing sooner if the matter is urgent. All evidence which UK Anti-Doping or the athlete wishes to rely on at the hearing must be submitted in advance of the hearing via the NADP Secretariat. Both parties will also receive a copy of all the evidence submitted by the other.

What evidence do I need to submit?

That is entirely up to you and any legal advisors you may appoint to assist you. Again, the NADP cannot advise you on how best to run your case, and does encourage all athletes to seek independent advice wherever possible. But it is important that you submit all evidence you feel is relevant, including statements of any witnesses or experts who have relevant information to offer your case. Any witnesses who provide statements to support your case may be required to attend the hearing so that they can be questioned and have their evidence tested. You will be told whether or not they need to attend in advance of the hearing.

Where are the hearings held?

Hearings are normally held at Sport Resolutions’ arbitration and mediation centre at 1 Salisbury Square, London. If any party would like to make an application to hold the hearing in another part of the country they may do so, giving reasons as to why, and this will be considered by the Chairman appointed to hear the case.

What happens on the day of the hearing?

Hearings are held in private and no members of the press or public will be permitted to attend, save for those notified in advance by you or UK Anti-Doping. You may bring family members or friends with you for support, and of course any legal representatives that you instruct may also attend to help you present your case to the tribunal. Other individuals in attendance may include observers from your national or international federations and also staff from the NADP Secretariat who will be present to assist the tribunal and the parties. Once the hearing starts, the Chairman will explain the order of proceedings. The athlete and UK Anti-Doping will be invited to make any opening remarks, and then both UK Anti-Doping and the athlete take it in turns to present their case, with the other party having the opportunity to cross examine their witnesses. Finally, both parties will be invited to make any closing remarks to sum up their case. A digital audio recording is made of the hearing which may be used to create a written transcript of proceedings where so requested by the tribunal or either party. The full transcript of the hearing is for the use of the tribunals and the parties and is not made public. If witnesses have come with you, the Chairman may request that they remain in your private waiting room until they are required for questioning. After they have provided their evidence they may be allowed to remain the hearing room if the parties consent to this. You will not receive a verbal decision on the day of the hearing. NADP decisions are provided in writing to the parties within 15 working days of the hearing. These are normally distributed by e-mail.

Who gets a copy of the decision?

The athlete, UK Anti-Doping, both the national governing body and the international federation of the sport, and the World Anti-Doping Agency. All have a right to appeal the decision.

Will the decision be made public?

After the decision has been sent out, the above parties have 21 days within which to file an appeal with the NADP. If it has been found that the athlete has committed an anti-doping rule violation and no appeal is filed then the decision will be published on the NADP (and normally UK Anti-Doping) website. If it has been found that the athlete has not committed an anti-doping rule violation then the decision will not be published without permission from the athlete. If, however, an appeal is filed by any of the above parties then the decision will not be published until the appeal has been dealt with.

I want to appeal an NADP decision. What do I do?

To appeal any first instance NADP decision, if you are a national level athlete, you must appeal in writing to the NADP Secretariat and by the deadline you will have been informed of when you received the decision. Alternatively if you are an international level athlete you will probably be required to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

Please read the NADP Procedural Rules for details on appeals.

An NADP Appeal Tribunal has the power to increase, decrease, or remove completely any consequences or sanction imposed by the first Tribunal in accordance with the Anti-Doping Rules.