With the increasing number of doping cases being discovered, the Hong Kong Anti-Doping Committee (HKADC) would like to remind members of the sport community that anti-doping rules violation is not limited to the use of prohibited substances by athletes. Moreover, individuals may also violate the laws of Hong Kong through importing, selling and possession of some of these substances.
In accordance with Articles 2.6 and 2.7 of the Anti-Doping Rules of HKADC, possessing and trafficking in any prohibited substance is an anti-doping violation. Not only athletes, but also athlete support personnel should observe these rules. Individuals travelling with a sport team should be very careful about what could be packed in your luggage.
It also happens that the importing, selling, and possession of some of the prohibited substances in sport is under regulation of the Hong Kong laws.
- Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138), the sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products is an offence. Some of the performance enhancing drugs, obtainable from the internet or black market, are not registered pharmaceutical products with the Department of Health.
- It is also an offence if a pharmaceutical product classified as a poison under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) is not sold with a proper licence or under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. In general, products containing steroids are classified as poisons under the said Ordinance in Hong Kong. Any person selling steroids through internet and black market is liable for criminal prosecution of an offence and a fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment of two years upon conviction.
- Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap 134), dangerous drugs must be sold in pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist with the support of a prescription by medical practitioner. Some of the prohibited substances in sport (including examples in the S6 (stimulants), S7 (narcotics), and S8 (cannabinoids) classes of the WADA Prohibited List) are regarded as those dangerous drugs under control. Any person who traffic in a dangerous drugs, offer to traffic in a dangerous drug or in a substance he believes to be a dangerous drug is liable for criminal prosecution of an offence and a fine of HK$5 million and life imprisonment upon conviction.
- Under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap 60), import licence should be obtained from the Department of Health before any pharmaceutical product could be imported into Hong Kong. This requirement also applies to the importing of pharmaceutical product from offshore websites. Any person in violation of this requirement is liable for criminal prosecution and a fine of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for two years upon conviction.
Members of the public and sport community are therefore warned against the possible consequences of selling and obtaining prohibited substances on internet and black market. In addition to the ineligibility to participate in sports, criminal prosecution and resulting sentence of fine and imprisonment could also be the possible outcomes.
Disclaimer: This article is published for reference purpose only and is not intended to give any legal advice by HKADC who shall disclaim any liability arising therefrom.