This article is part of a ParaSport News series of articles looking at doping in the Paralympic, Deaflympic and disability sports movement.
In a ParaSport News review of sanctions for disability sport, Deaflympic sport stands out as a category all its own in doping because of how national doping agencies govern or do not clear govern deaf sports doping issues and because of the lack of doping sportspeople caught.
International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), which governs Deaflympic sport, has a rule about doping declarations that says, “A mandatory part of each sanction shall include automatic publication, as provided in Article 14.3.” The cited article says, “Publication shall be accomplished at a minimum by placing the required information on the ICSD’s website or publishing it through other means and leaving the information up for the longer of one month or the duration of any period of Ineligibility.” They also say in Article 14.4, “The ICSD shall publish at least annually a general statistical report of its Doping Control activities, with a copy provided to WADA. The ICSD may also publish reports showing the name of each Athlete tested and the date of each Testing.”
Of the 370 identified doping offenses by ParaSport News dating back to 1986, only 28 or 7.5% of them involved deaf sports. All of except two of these sanctions occurred in years when the Summer Deaflympics or Winter Deaflympics took place. 5 of these 28 involved athletes sanctioned by ICSD from unidentified countries, 1 sanctioned by Nationale Anti Doping Agentur Deutschland, and 22 sanctioned by Russia’s Российское антидопинговое агентство. All of these sanctioned occurred in 2007 or later, despite doping controls having been implemented at the Deaflympic Games in 1981. None of these doping violations were reported on the ICSD website. The ICSD violations were all reported on the Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands website, which seeks to create a global repository of anti-doping documents to bring greater transparency to the issue of doping in sport.