This article is part of a ParaSport News series of articles looking at doping in the Paralympic, Deaflympic and disability sports movement.
In a sports reporting world where dopers and cheaters are lurking behind every corner, one international multi-sports federation stands out for its complete lack of anti-doping sanctions in 2014, 2015 and so far in 2016: the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD).
A ParaSport News investigation into doping sanctions in disability sport has been unable to identify a single doping sanction in deaf sports since the 2013 Summer Deaflympics when 12 sportspeople were given sanctions. This includes sanctions both the ICSD, national deaf sports federations and national anti-doping agencies. By all appearances based on other sports and despite claims by multiple sports experts, despite a lack of any large-scale campaign by the ICSD to combat doping, deaf sport managed the impossible feat of being one of the few clean sports in the world.
The last sanctions for doing in deaf sport occurred in 2013, where 2013 Summer Deaflympics doping control was handled by SportAcord on behalf of the ICSD. The total number of sanctions that year was 12, down one from the previous Summer Deaflympics year. With 2,711 athletes competing at those Games and an unclear number of tests given, the sanction rate to athletes was 0.4%. An analysis of date by Foriegn Policy provides context for this. Across all anti-doping tests on the Olympic side from 2003, the only sports which had percentages this low or lower were archery in 2004 at 0.4%, badminton in 2010 at 0.4%, gymnastics in 2004 at 0.4% and modern pentathlon in 2008 at 0.4%. That is it.
The 2015 Winter Deaflympics, with doping control overseen Russia’s RUSADA (Российское антидопинговое агентство), saw zero published sanctions for doping in a Games that featured 336 Deaflympic competitor in a country that has historically had high levels of deaf doping. The percentage of positive doping results with an unknown number of sports people tested was 0%.
Despite appearing to have eradicating the practice of doping in deaf sport, ICSD remains committed to their anti-doping efforts. ICSD CEO Dmitry Rebrov, Adviser to ICSD President Xenia Morfopoulos and ICSD Doping Control Officer Artem Buerov all attended the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 12th Anti-Doping Organisation Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland last month.
The data collected by ParaSport News for this report is available here for the benefit of other journalists and the sports community.