News15 May 2006

A Piece of Anti-Doping History: IAAF Handbook 1927-1928


In 1928 the IAAF became the first ever International Sport Federation to ban the use of doping products.  By following the link at the bottom of this article you are able download a scanned extract of the 1927-1928 IAAF Handbook including selected pages highlighting the historic discussions which took place at the time of the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.  This Handbook details for the first time a ban on doping practices in the sport of athletics.

Within the selected pages of the Handbook you will find two main sections dealing with the topic of Doping.  Section 13 details the decision by the IAAF Congress to accept a rule prohibiting the use of doping products in athletics. 

“The Congress voted unanimously that such a rule should be introduced, whereupon a lively discussion ensued as to the text to be adopted in this respect”.

The discussions then continued on the second day of meetings which can be found in section 22.  It was at this time that the final wording of the rule was accepted. 

“Doping is the use of any stimulant not normally employed to increase the poser of action in athletic competition above the average.  Any person knowingly acting of assisting as explained above shall be excluded from any place where these rules are in force or, if he is a competitor, be suspended for a time or otherwise from further participation in amateur athletics under the jurisdiction of this Federation”.

The IAAF is proud to have been the first International Federation to prohibit the use of doping products, nearly 78 years ago.  The rules and procedures in the field of anti-doping certainly have changed drastically since this time.

The IAAF is equally proud that today we are recognised as one of the leading organisations in the modern fight against doping in sport.  It would be a safe bet that at the time of drafting these rules in 1928, the IAAF congress would not have imagined a staff of 11 people working within the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Department to combat doping in athletics.

The vast majority of our athletes compete in clean an honest manner without resorting to doping.  The IAAF will do all it can to continue implementing and improving its anti-doping programme in order to protect the efforts of these clean and true athletes.