The goals of the Gay Games policy on performance-enhancing drugs are to promote:
• health and well-being of participants
• individual responsibility for personal behavior
• fair competition
The means of achieving these goals include:
• education and awareness-raising programs
• structural measures to decrease the incentive for and the impact of the use of performance-enhancing drugs
• drug testing, in limited conditions described below
1 Education and awareness
The Host must develop a program of education and awareness of issues related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The focus of this program should be the health consequences of the use of such drugs, and the individual responsibility of the athlete for his own health and for the respect of fair competition.
• The Host is encouraged to include the WADA Athlete Outreach Model, adapted for the event, as part of their education campaign.
• Opportunities for athletes to question their own behavior should be encouraged (quizzes, self-administered surveys, etc.).
• The FGG will endeavor to provide support for these programs, in particular by providing access to experts who have helped develop such policies.
• To give greater visibility to its efforts, and to highlight the role of each athlete in the fight against performance-enhancing drugs, the Host is encouraged to apply a nominal surcharge (no more than USD 5) on registration fees to support its performance- enhancing drug program. This fee may be part of a more generally entitled “Health, safety, and well-being” program fee. Any such fee should appear explicitly as a separate charge alongside other registration fees. All costs of the Host’s performance-enhancing drug program should be paid for by these fees. The application of this fee does not require an increase in the total registration fee (i.e., the registration fee may be reduced by this amount so that the Doping/Health, Safety, and Well-being fee remains cost-neutral with respect to participants and Host).
2 Structural measures
The Federation of Gay Games encourages all measures that reduce the incentive to use performance-enhancing drugs.
It believes that this is by far the most effective means of combating doping, in particular given the means available to the Federation of Gay Games and the Host of the Gay Games.
These structural measures should be implemented whenever possible in each sport, and focus on the following:
• offering events of differing levels of difficulty to allow each athlete to find an event in which he or she can excel, according to his or her capabilities
• scheduling events so as to allow athletes to recover naturally from effort
• offering multiple competitive categories so as to make access to excellence available to the greatest number of athletes (multiple age divisions, weight divisions, etc.)
• emphasising the values of participation and personal best by ensuring that officials and spectators provide the encouragement owed to all competitors, whatever their level and whatever their results.
• in light of these values, communication on the event should focus on individual participation, and only secondarily on performance; in particular, the Host may collect information on collective performance (for example, medal counts) that may be useful for City Teams and external communication, but any such communication should include reminders that the Gay Games are not about the performance of City Teams, and even less about national performance.
The Host must highlight these aspects in the information provided for each sport, and in its external communication about their sports program.
The FGG will endeavor to incorporate a description of these aspects in the relevant Sport
The FGG believes, in accordance with the motion adopted by the 2010 meeting of the FGG General Assembly in Cologne, that, as a rule, drug testing is not appropriate for the Gay Games, for the following reasons:
• Drug testing is expensive, and in the absence of specific outside funding for testing, the limited resources of Gay Games Hosts would be better used for education and prevention.
• Drug testing is by its very nature invasive and violates the athlete’s right to privacy and physical integrity. While this may be an appropriate price to pay for elite athletes, it is not justified for an event like the Gay Games which focuses on sport for all, rather than sport for elite athletes.
• The FGG and the Gay Games Host do not have access to the range of testing options that allow for an effective and fair testing regime. In particular, they are unable to carry out out-of-competition testing.
• Gay Games participants are on the whole recreational athletes who do not seek extreme performance. Unlike elite athletes, they lack the knowledge or the incentive to take extreme measures to avoid a positive drug test, such as careful monitoring of all food and drug intake. For the vast majority of the athletes, a positive drug test will not correspond at all to any intent to enhance performance or gain a competitive advantage, but instead to an accident due to over-the-counter medication, prescribed treatments for various medical conditions, or random exposure via supplements or other treatments, etc.
• Gay Games athletes are on the whole older, and a significant number suffer from medical conditions whose treatment is not readily or currently integrated in the context of Therapeutic Use Exemptions. And even for treatments that could be concerned by Therapeutic Use Exemptions, the logistical and financial requirements for managing these TUEs go beyond the means of Gay Games Hosts.
• The budget required for effective drug testing would have much more long-term impact if it were instead used for education and awareness programs.
Drug testing is appropriate and can be implemented, subject to the express approval of the FGG, only when it is required by a sanctioning body, or when the FGG and Host jointly determine that offering drug testing is a reasonable response to a legitimate demand from participants.
Requests for drug testing may originate from a mainstream sanctioning body, the Host sports manager, from an FGG sports coordinator, or from an FGG member sports organization.
Sports requesting the use of drug testing must demonstrate
• that there are no other viable options
• that drug testing will not have a negative impact on participation
• that drug testing significantly and verifiably improves participant safety
• that drug testing will be truly effective in offering a fairer competitive experience for participants
In any sport requiring testing, athletes should have the option of competing in a parallel event, offering the same recognition, and carried out in the same conditions as the tested event, with the only difference between the events being this testing.
“Guest” and “exhibition” categories do not meet this requirement.
The choice to include such dual events may raise public relations/communications risks that the Host needs to prepare for.
Mainstream sanctioning bodies may require drug testing for all competitors. If appropriate implementation measures cannot be agreed to, then the FGG and Host should consider whether the advantage of mainstream sanctioning is worth the financial and other costs of drug testing.
4 Policy development:
Host and FGG must each agree on any testing program. This agreement must be reached and information to participants made available no later than opening of registration.
For any testing program, the Host must submit for approval by the FGG all policy elements in outline form by the opening of registration, with a timeline for providing detailed implementation of the various aspects of the program.