Book Chapter

Doping and Human Rights in Pariah States



McArdle D (2019) Doping and Human Rights in Pariah States. In: Duval A & Rigozzi A (eds.) Yearbook of International Sports Arbitration 2017. Yearbook of International Sports Arbitration. The Hague: TMC Asser Press, pp. 29-49.

On first reading, case 2016/A/4708 Belarus Canoe Association and Belarusian Senior Men’s Canoe and Kayak Team Members v International Canoe Federation, award of 23 January 2017 (hereafter BCA v ICF) raises three familiar, deceptively simple, themes in anti-doping. Namely, the potential role of national criminal authorities in doping investigations; the relationship between those authorities and international sporting stakeholders; and the importance of those stakeholders adhering to their own rules when pursuing apparent anti-doping allegations. This paper addresses those aspects in detail, but the case has a significance that goes beyond anti-doping. Specifically, BCA v ICF raises wider issues about anti-doping actors whose obligations under the WADA regime cannot be easily reconciled with their reliance on governments that use sports as a tool for cronyism and furthering political agendas. Such is the case in Belarus, where the relationship between a supposedly independent national antidoping authority and an ignoble and unhappy regime appears uncomfortably close. These concerns are compounded by sports federations who are only too happy to let Europe’s last dictatorship host their international events.

sport; human rights; Belarus; doping; tribunals; Independence

Title of seriesYearbook of International Sports Arbitration
Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online22/08/2019
PublisherTMC Asser Press
Place of publicationThe Hague
ISSN of series2522-8501

People (1)


Dr David McArdle

Dr David McArdle

Senior Lecturer, Law