Legal Information Management

Sports Law

Drugs in Sport

Peter Charlish


In this article Peter Charlish addresses the controversial issue of the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport. He looks at the legal basis for regulation via the World Anti-Doping Code and the nature of a sports participant's relationship with their governing body and the anti-doping organisations. He explains in the context of proportionality, the measures designed to combat doping in sport; the importance to the Code of the central principle of strict liability. Also, he highlights the use of non-analytical positives as a further method of detection of doping violations, whilst taking consideration of the impact of these measures on the human rights of participants.


  • sports law;
  • drug abuse

Peter Charlish, Principal Lecturer in Law, BA(Hons), PGCE, MA(Law), MPhil at Sheffield Hallam University. My thanks go in particular to my colleagues Sam Burton, Dr Miroslav Baros and Dr Stephen Riley for their help and advice in the writing of this paper. All errors remain my own.