The FA V Nathaniel Mendez-Laing – A New Approach To Substances Of Abuse In Sport
On 12 February 2021 The FA published the written reasons in the case of The FA v Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. This case concerned charges brought by The FA against the Player under The FA Anti-Doping Regulations 2019-20 (19-20 ADR), following the Player having provided a urine sample after his match for Cardiff City FC against Bristol City FC on 4 July 2020 which subsequently tested positive for metabolites of cocaine.
The Player was notified of his anti-doping rule violation (“ADRV”) on 14 August 2020 and provisionally suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches from that date. He was formally charged by The FA on 12 November 2020. Following evidence being submitted by both parties, the case was heard by a Regulatory Commission on 20 January 2021.
This article examines:
- The new Substances of Abuse regime
- The principle of 'lex mitior' (the less severe law applies)
It is important to note that at the time of being charged, the Player was subject to the 19-20 ADR. However, by the time the case was heard, the 19-20 ADR had been replaced with the updated, and significantly amended, FA Anti-Doping Regulations 2021 (2021 ADR). The 2021 ADR incorporated the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations 2021 (which in turn reflected the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code) and came into force on 1 January 2021.
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- Tags: 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code | Anti Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) | Anti-Doping | Athlete Welfare | Dispute Resolution | FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations 2021 | Football | Integrity | Lex Mitior | Performance Enhancing Substances | Regulation | Substances of Abuse | The FA | The FA Anti-Doping Regulations 2019-20 | The FA Anti-Doping Regulations 2020-21
- Why WADA should reclassify cocaine as a "specified substance" - the inequitable case of José Paolo Guerrero
- A guide to the main changes under the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code
- Why WADA 2021’s new ‘Substances of Abuse’ regime needs urgent clarity
- 2021 WADA Code – Reduced Sanctions For Substances Of Abuse, Multiple Violations And Recreational Athletes
Phil is a Senior Associate at Mills & Reeve specialising in sports litigation and sports regulatory matters, with a particular focus on the football industry. Phil has worked on a number of high profile integrity/match fixing and doping cases across a variety of sports and also regularly advises football clubs, agents and players on transfers, most notably where work permits are required.