Every year substances are added or removed from the World Anti-Doping Administration’s prohibited list. This year the most important change with regard to doping penalties is that recreational drug use outside of competition will incur less severe punishments. Athletes caught using drugs such as heroin, cannabis, mdma and cocaine, for example, will only receive three month bans, compared to the two-year bans previously meted out. If an athlete seeks help for his or her drug problem, the punishment can even be reduced to only one-month exclusion.
In addition, a distinction is made between professional athletes and amateurs. For the latter group, the rules are even more lenient, although it is not yet entirely clear how lenient they will be. Lots of Doping Authorities worldwide appear to be very happy with these lower penalties, since they don’t see recreational drugs as a way to improve sports performance.