The International Sports Law Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1–2, pp 55–63 | Cite as

Cocaine, doping and the court of arbitration for sport

  • Antoine Duval


Cocaine is one of the most widely consumed drugs in the world. Not so surprisingly, it is also one of the most often detected stimulants by anti-doping authorities. But cocaine poses serious difficulties to sporting tribunals, as it challenges the legal boundaries of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) drafted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Should it still be considered as doping, when cocaine cannot enhance an athlete’s performance? Are there any legal mechanisms in place to take in account the specific context that has lead to the contamination of an athlete? More generally, how is the sporting justice, and especially the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS), dealing with cocaine cases? In order to tackle these questions, Sect. 1 will introduce the WADC 2009 rules. Thereafter, I will review the case law of the CAS on cocaine in Sect. 2 and draw some conclusions on the strict interpretation by CAS of the WADC in Sect. 3. The new WADC 2015 and its potential repercussions in the context of cocaine cases will be discussed in Sect. 4. I will conclude by urging the CAS to make a long-overdue interpretative turn in anti-doping cases, leaving more room for contextual analysis and flexibility in the enforcement stage of the WADC.


Court of arbitration for sport Doping Cocaine World Anti-Doping Agency Lex sportiva 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Instituut 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ASSER InstituutThe HagueThe Netherlands

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