Athletes’ Rights vs. Anti-Doping Regulations: The Balancing Act of Strict Liability

  • Rakshan Pahwa and Dr. Manish Bharadwaj
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  • Rakshan Pahwa

    Student at Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

  • Dr. Manish Bharadwaj

    Assistant Professor at Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

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This paper scrutinizes a highly contentious interplay between athlete welfare and fundamental freedom and right of the athlete in sports law with a ‘strict liability’ principle. On one hand, strict liability, works on the basis that athletes bear a responsibility for ingestion of a banned substance in their body whatever the intent or consent. The practice is in support of the World Anti-Doping Act that promotes a ‘zero qualification’ policy to make the adjudication easy for elected officials and free of doubt, as means to deter any illicit practice of drug use. On the other hand, it is highly questionable in terms of fairness and justice where not every athlete has an intent to take the controlled and prohibited substance. Many accidental instances, as reported, have only emphasized the complexity of the problem. Broadly, it would be a complex question of how to guarantee the anti-doping measures as strictly in practice, but within the bounds of fairness, so as to support the integrity of the sport on the one hand and without compromising the dignity and rights of the athlete.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 2333 - 2353


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