Sports lawyers in B P Collins’ wider dispute resolution group recently advised a national level boxer in connection with an alleged ‘whereabouts failure’.

Regardless of nationality or sport, professional athletes are generally subject to very strict requirements to account for their physical ‘whereabouts’ months in advance. A failure can mean without-notice anti-doping tests are missed or cannot be completed, and many anti-doping regimes operate a ‘three strike’ policy – three ‘missed tests’ or other ‘filing failures’ in a 12-month period can lead to an athlete being charged with an anti-doping offence, facing a significant ban, with career impacting consequences.

In this case, the issue arose through simple error – a whereabouts record was not updated after an additional day was added to a pre-scheduled training camp. With the benefit of advice, the error was explained, accepted, and identified as a first offence; and it did not result in any formal consequence.

The consequences of these sorts of failings can be serious, impacting not only an ability to continue training and competing but potentially impacting sponsorship arrangements. Applying similar rules in October last year, US player Jenson Brooksby was banned for 18 months after a tribunal found he had committed three ‘whereabouts’ failures in a 12 month period – the last of which occurred while he was in a hotel room under an assumed name, leaving doping control officers unable to locate him within the testing window.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss issues of this nature, or disputes within the wider sports and leisure industries, please contact B P Collins’ disputes team at or call 01753 889995.

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