Often, players consider the Anti-Doping World as complex and can feel intimidated by the process. This section aims to help better understand Anti-Doping related matters.
The INF is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code and adopted its own set of Anti-Doping Rules in 2004, which all member countries are required to accept, and all players must abide by.
New rules were approved by the INF Board and came into force on January 1, 2021. They are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code 2021. The purpose of revising the Code is to better protect clean athletes around the world.
The INF is unequivocally opposed to the practice of doping in sport and fully supports the position of the WADA against the use of banned substances and methods. This position is motivated by a desire for fair and equal competition and by concern for the health of athletes participating in such competition.
The INF Anti-Doping rules shall apply to all participants in competitions over which the INF has jurisdiction, as well as to the athlete support personnel, and provides for sanctions against any player or support person (e.g. coach) found guilty of a doping offence. All players are subject to doping controls (urine analyses, blood tests and other authorised techniques for detecting prohibited substances or methods).
INF Anti-Doping Rules
Click here to download the INF Anti-Doping Rules.
For more information on the WADA code please go to www.wada-ama.org.
INF carries out the following Anti-doping related tasks:
- The organisation of doping controls for all INF run tournaments.
- Management of INF’s Out-of-Competition Testing System through its Testing Pool
- Results management in case of Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) and review of national Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV)
- Management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
- Production and distribution of anti-doping material for doping controls and educational programmes
- Cooperation and coordination with the Anti-Doping Organisations involved in Netball (National Federations, National Anti-Doping Organizations, professional leagues)
The WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods – ‘Prohibited List’ – is a list of substances and methods prohibited to athletes in- and out-of-competition. The list is reviewed annually. The 2021 list came into effect on 01 January 2021.
Under the INF Internal Regulations governing Anti-Doping, it is each player’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters their body.
Therefore, it is essential that all players and support personnel review carefully the 2021 Prohibited List, particularly in cases where they intend to use supplements or medication.
The list for 2021 may be found here: www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/2021list_en.pdf
Therapeutic Use Exemptions
The INF has a Medical Commission that ensures the anti-doping procedures contained within the rules are followed.
In certain cases, a player may be required to take a prohibited substance or use a prohibited method in order to treat an illness or condition. All players have the right to the best medical treatment.
The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is the means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
The athlete must apply for a TUE prior to the use of the prohibited substance or method.
Athletes should advise medical personnel of their obligation to abide by the INF anti-doping rules and that any medical treatment received must not violate these rules.
View WADA’s position on COVID-19 vaccines here.
Who has to apply and where?
If you are a player that is competing in INF tournaments (Netball World Cup and Netball Youth World Cup) you must file your TUE request with the INF Medical Commission via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are exclusively competing in national championships your TUE request can be addressed to your country’s National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), as per the domestic regulations.
INF TUE Process
Athletes may apply to the INF for a TUE by downloading and completing this Tue Form and submitting via email at email@example.com.
Have your doctor complete the TUE application form, including a summary of your clinical condition, supporting investigations and copies of specialists’ letters. Physician Guidelines for various conditions can be found via the WADA TUE page
Send the application to the INF Medical Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org, with copies of supporting medical documents, at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the tournament (exceptional circumstances may allow for a shorter deadline).
Upon receipt of the application, a panel of medical experts will review your request.
A TUE will be granted if (and only if) the athlete can establish that all of the following criteria are met:
- Your health will be significantly impaired if you do not take the substance.
- The substance does not enhance your performance beyond what brings you back to normal health.
- There are no alternative treatments available; and
- The necessity for the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use (without a TUE) of a substance or method that was prohibited at the time of such Use.
The INF Medical Commission will decide whether to grant the application as soon as possible. Please ensure that the application is complete when submitted as this will greatly accelerate the review process.
Please bear in mind that no prohibited substance or medication containing a prohibited substance may be taken, nor any prohibited method used unless and until INF has informed the player that the TUE is granted.
In the case of a denied request, you will be informed of the reasons. You have the right to appeal the decision.
Please note, if you did take a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method in an emergency situation (or other valid reason set forth in Article 4.3 of the WADA International Standard for TUEs) you may need to apply for a retroactive TUE.
For more information in relation to the TUE process please click here.
Recognition of National TUEs
Every team (national team or club) that registers for an INF run tournament must declare every player with a national TUE at the time of registration. However, the INF Medical Commission does not automatically recognise national TUEs.
An athlete can request that their national TUE be recognised and the INF Medical Commission will consider it. The request must be made at least 30 days before the tournament and include a copy of the national TUE certificate. Additional information or documentation may be requested.
To be recognised, the national TUE must meet the criteria defined in the WADA International Standard for TUEs.
A player in possession of a valid national TUE may not take a prohibited substance or use a prohibited method during an INF tournament, or during other times in which he or she is subject to INF’s testing authority, unless and until the INF Medical Commission has granted the request for recognition.
Useful Tips During Doping Control
If selected for testing an athlete should:
- Remember to declare any approved medication on the Doping Control Form
- Specify that a TUE has been granted
- Have access to a copy of the TUE Certificate and, if possible, show it to the doping control officer.
Note: the above constitute a practical summary and not legal or medical advice. Please refer to the complete procedures governing the application and granting of a TUE as set out in the International Standard for TUEs
During International Tournaments hosted by the INF, any injection to any site of an athlete’s body of any substance is prohibited except in certain medical circumstances. Those circumstances are listed in the policy which may be downloaded from the INF Resources.
The INF is committed to educating its members and players about Anti-Doping procedures through outreach activities at its events and the production of educational materials.
The Netball World Youth Cup 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana was one event where players and coaches were offered Anti-doping training as part of the ‘Safe Sport’ programme and the Congress Workshops provided training for Members’ administrators.
At Netball World Cup in Liverpool in 2019, INF offered anti-doping training and awareness sessions for all teams and support staff. These sessions were provided on INFs behalf by UKAD.
If you suspect that an anti-doping rules violation has taken place or have any concerns in respect of doping in netball you can contact us confidentially by emailing email@example.com. Intelligence is a crucial part of ensuring that Netball remains a clean sport. Whilst any information in respect of doping in Netball is welcome INF would be grateful if you please provide the following information where possible:
- Names of those involved
- Location of suspicious activity
- Manner of suspicious activity
- Any further details in respect of those involved
Your email will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality.
For more information on the tools and resources available to raise awareness and provide education on anti-doping please see here.
The INF undertakes testing at its events and out-of-competition testing on a pool of international players.
In 2019 the INF commissioned 24 anti-doping tests of which 20 tested the athlete’s urine and 4 tested the athlete’s blood. 18 tests took place in the competition (IC) and 6 out of competition (OOC). The testing found 0 atypical findings, 0 adverse analytical findings and there were 0 anti-doping rules violations.
In 2018 the INF commissioned 10 anti-doping tests of which 8 tested the athlete’s urine and 2 tested the athlete’s blood. 6 tests took place in the competition (IC) and 4 out of competition (OOC). The testing found 0 atypical findings, 0 adverse analytical findings and there were 0 anti-doping rules violations. Other anti-doping authorities tested 182 samples and found 0 atypical findings, 0 adverse analytical findings and there were 0 anti-doping rules violations.
Strict Liability – As an athlete, it is your responsibility to know what enters your body.
In case of positive doping control, the athlete carries the burden to proof as to how the prohibited substance entered the body. Therefore, you should always know what you eat, what supplements you use and what medication you take. In case of doubt, you should consult an expert (e.g. your team doctor) or globalDRO.com.
Testing Pool (TP)
The INF Board has agreed that the TP is the current squad for the top 3 teams in the INF World Rankings. The countries included in the TP must submit team whereabouts information to their National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for team training sessions and international matches on a regular basis.
Please note that INF has the right to test any athlete, at any level, at any time.