U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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Retirement Responsibilties

For USADA and anti-doping purposes, athletes who retire from competitive sport must promptly inform USADA, their respective sport National Governing Body (NGB), and their International Federation (IF) in writing through fax, courier, or email. If an athlete sends the retirement statement via email, the retirement statement must come from an email address that the athlete has on file with USADA. 

It is very important for athletes to check with their respective NGB and IF for their policies on retirement, as certain sports may require specific forms to be completed prior to contacting USADA.

Under the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) National Anti-Doping Policy, any athlete who has not provided advance written notice of retirement to USADA and then refuses to participate in a USADA out-of competition (OOC) test claiming retirement may be subject to an anti-doping rule violation.

Athletes who retire will be immediately removed from the USADA testing pool and will no longer have to comply with certain athlete requirements, such as providing Whereabouts information. To confirm retirement, an athlete will receive a retirement letter from USADA, via email, stating the date of retirement, withdrawal from retirement information, and return from retirement options, should an athlete wish to return to competition at a later date.

If an athlete retires while serving a sanction, their period of ineligibility will be tolled and resumed upon their return from retirement if applicable.

Return From Retirement

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In accordance with Article 5.6 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, athletes wanting to come out of retirement and return to eligible status must enroll in the USADA testing pool, fulfilling all Whereabouts requirements, and make themselves available for testing for a period of at least six (6) months in advance of participating in International or National level events as defined in the Code. To re-enroll in the USADA testing pool, an athlete must send a return-from-retirement statement through courier or email to USADA. If an athlete sends the return-from-retirement statement via email, the statement must come from an email address that the athlete has on file with USADA. 

Additionally, athletes should confirm whether their particular NGB or IF has additional requirements in order for them to regain eligibility after retirement. For instance, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field athletes wishing to return from retirement must first contact their NGB as those sports require specific forms to return from retirement.

All athletes returning from retirement will be treated as new athletes to the USADA testing pool and will be notified by USADA in accordance with the USOPC National Anti-Doping Policies.

Read the “Retirement” section on page 23-24 of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing.

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