Anti Doping Privacy Policy

Summary of how The Football Association Limited (“The FA”) uses your data.

  • The FA processes participants’ data to carry out its regulatory functions under its Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drugs Regulations. In the case of the Anti-Doping Regulations, it does this as a joint controller with UK Anti-Doping (“UKAD”), which is the national anti-doping organisation. More details of UKAD’s use of your data are set out below and in UKAD’s own privacy policies.
  • The FA will particularly use your data to carry out doping tests, maintain details of player whereabouts for the purpose of  carrying out testing, collect and create  intelligence  to help ensure that testing is appropriately targeted, and use results of testing to enforce both its Anti-Doping and Social Drugs Regulations.
  • We will process sensitive personal data in carrying out this processing.  We do this for the purposes of eliminating doping in sport and protecting the integrity of the game.
  • Data may be shared with a number of third parties. As well as sharing data with UKAD, information may be shared with the police where there is evidence of criminal conduct, with UEFA and FIFA and any other relevant event organisers and international federations with doping responsibility, as well as WADA. Information about testing and outcomes, including information about whereabouts strikes and positive tests, may also be shared with your club. Information of a positive test will also be shared with your club. Data is also shared with The FA’s panel members as necessary for disciplinary and tribunal proceedings, and may be published where you are banned as a result of a charge against you being found proven.
  • You may be asked to allow us to share your information with Sporting Chance, and we would ask that you agree that any evaluation of your data carried out by Sporting Chance can be provided to us. However, our legal basis for processing this data would be to ensure the integrity of the game, and failure to share this information could lead to us bringing a charge against you under our Social Drugs Regulations.
  • You can choose to share information about a charge or investigation with other third parties, such as the PFA or a relative. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
  • We have set out below more details in respect of your data protection rights, including your right to object to certain processing.

What does this privacy policy cover?              

This policy describes how The FA will make use of your data that it has collected under its Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drugs Regulations. In the case of the Anti-Doping Regulations, The FA is a joint-controller with UKAD which carries out testing and sample analysis, and which is the national anti-doping organisation. A summary of how UKAD use of your data is set out below, and more detail is given in UKAD’s own privacy policies (available on doping control forms and on UKAD’s website).

The FA’s Whereabouts system collects information in relation to a number of different types of participant. If you are a club official or FASO, you can find a specific privacy policy on the Whereabouts system that describes The FA’s use of your data.

This policy describes your data protection rights, including a right to object to some of the processing which The FA carries out.  More information about your rights, and how to exercise them, is set out in the “What rights do I have?” section.  Defined terms used in this Policy reflect those used in the FA’s Anti-Doping and Social Drugs Regulations.

What information does The FA’s Anti-Doping team collect?

The FA anti-doping team collects and processes personal data about Players and Player Support Personnel. The information collected directly by The FA includes information you provide on your whereabouts and data provided as part of a test.

Should you be subject to a positive test, further information may be gathered from you about the circumstances surrounding your alleged use of a Prohibited Substance, including any information you provide by way of defence or mitigation.

What information is provided by third parties for anti-doping purposes?

We work with UKAD on anti-doping matters (as well as sample collection and results management, UKAD will also provide us with details of any approved Therapeutic Use Exemption that you have).

Information may also be provided by a number of other third parties. We will receive intelligence on doping matters from UKAD, from the media, from members of the public, the police and other third parties such as other governing bodies, leagues or competition organisers.   

Where you agree to an evaluation by Sporting Chance under the Social Drugs Regulations, we will also receive information from Sporting Chance.  We will receive information on your whereabouts from your club (unless you contradict this information) and we will liaise with your club in the event of a positive test.

Where you choose to involve a third party, such as a lawyer, the PFA or independent experts, we may also receive information from them.

How does The FA use this information, and what is the legal basis for this use?

The FA will use this information for the following purposes:

  • As required by The FA to conduct its business and pursue its legitimate interests, in particular:
    • communicating with you or about you where necessary to administer the game and enforce The FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drug Regulations, including informing you and your club of any positive test and responding to any questions you send to the Anti-Doping Team;
    • maintaining intelligence we receive on Players and Player Support Personnel to help us carry out intelligence led testing;
    • carrying out and enforcing The FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drug Regulations, including sharing relevant data with UKAD and other relevant third parties as set out in this policy;
    • maintaining records of The FA’s anti-doping missions and test outcomes, and players who have failed to be available for tests at the designated time (strikes);
    • managing information relating to any Therapeutic Use Exemption (this process is managed by UKAD);
    • providing your details to Sporting Chance where you have agreed to submit to an evaluation (where failure to agree to an evaluation may result in a charge under our Social Drugs Regulations); and
    • publishing our decisions in anti-doping and social drug cases in accordance with and for the purposes set out in our Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drugs Regulations respectively.
  • For purposes which are required by law:
    • in response to requests by government or law enforcement authorities conducting an investigation.
  • Where you have given your consent:
    • we may share and receive information from other third parties you wish to involve in any investigation or charge, such as the PFA, an expert witness, a lawyer or relative.

For all of these purposes, we may be required to process your sensitive personal data - we do this for the purposes of eliminating doping in sport and, in the case of social drugs testing, protecting the integrity of the game. Where we share data with Sporting Chance, and receive information relating to an evaluation, we receive any sensitive data for the purposes of enforcing our rules and to ensure the integrity of the game. However, we may also process this data for the purposes of safeguarding you if you are an individual at risk.

Withdrawing consent

Wherever we rely on your consent, you will always be able to withdraw that consent, although we may have other legal grounds for processing your data for other purposes, such as those set out above.

How is data shared, where and when?

Information about testing and outcomes, including information about whereabouts strikes and positive tests will also be shared with your club. In the case of positive tests, your clubs may help co-ordinate a response.

Information may be passed to UKAD or clubs in relation to the performance and conduct of FASOs on a particular mission, or the information provided by particular club officials.

As well as sharing data with UKAD, information may be shared with the police where there is evidence of criminal conduct, with UEFA and FIFA and any other relevant event organisers and international federations with doping responsibility, as well as WADA (see UKAD’s policies for more information). We will also publish certain information or share it with the media, on disciplinary charges and findings.

You may choose to involve third parties in your response to a charge or investigation (in particular, you may choose to involve the PFA, external lawyers or relatives).

Personal data may be shared with government authorities and/or law enforcement officials if required for the purposes above, if mandated by law or if required for the legal protection of the parties’ legal or legitimate interests in compliance with applicable laws.

Personal data may also be shared with third party service providers, who will process it on behalf of the controllers for the purposes identified above.  This may include the providers of IT services.

Where information is transferred outside the EEA, and where this is to a stakeholder or vendor in a country that is not subject to an adequacy decision by the EU Commission, data is adequately protected by EU Commission approved standard contractual clauses, an appropriate Privacy Shield certification or a vendor's Processor Binding Corporate Rules.  A copy of the relevant mechanism can be provided for your review – you can ask for this using the contact details below. In the case of transfers to WADA, UEFA and FIFA, data is in all these cases transferred to countries considered to adequately protect data under an EU adequacy decision.

What rights do I have? 

You have the right to ask us for a copy of your personal data; to correct, delete or restrict (stop any active) processing of your personal data; and to obtain the personal data you provide to us for a contract or with your consent in a structured, machine readable format.

In addition, you can object to the processing of your personal data in some circumstances (in particular, where we don’t have to process the data to meet a contractual or other legal requirement, or where we are using the data for direct marketing).

These rights may be limited, for example if fulfilling your request would reveal personal data about another person, where it would infringe the rights of a third party (including our rights) or if you ask us to delete information which we are required by law to keep or have compelling legitimate interests in keeping.  Relevant exemptions are included in both the GDPR and in the Data Protection Act 2018. We will inform you of relevant exemptions we rely upon when responding to any request you make.

To exercise any of these rights, you can get in touch with us – or our data protection officer – using the details set out below. If you have unresolved concerns, you have the right to complain to an EU data protection authority where you live, work or where you believe a breach may have occurred. This is likely to be the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK.

Information that is provided in order to comply with The FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations and Social Drugs Regulations is mandatory. Failure to provide this information could result in a charge under those Regulations.

How do I get in touch with you, or your data protection officer?

If you wish to make a data privacy request, you can do so via our online form, which can be found here. We hope that we can satisfy queries you may have about the way we process your data. If you have any concerns about how we process your data, you can get in touch at or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London, SW1P 9EQ.

Where you wish to find out more information about UKAD’s role as a joint controller, you can find more details about this and UKAD’s privacy policy and contact details on any doping control form as well as on UKAD’s website.

How long will you retain my data?

Information relating to intelligence gathered about anti-doping matters, TUEs granted to a Player and details of any actions or decisions taken by The FA to enforce its Anti-Doping Regulations, Social Drugs Regulations or other FA rules or regulations against a participant will be reviewed every 7 years. If The FA considers that ongoing retention is justified, it will continue to retain relevant information until at least the next review. We will also review the information we hold about you at the end of any investigation or case to ensure that it remains relevant. For particularly serious cases, and where you may have an ongoing role in football, we may inevitably hold information indefinitely, but this will remain subject to review.

Information related to whereabouts testing is held until the point at which a player retires, and is then subject to on-going review in accordance with the 7 year review period described above.

Information relating to a negative test will be retained for 11 seasons (beginning with the season after the season in which the negative test occurs), to ensure that further testing, as required under the FA Anti-Doping Regulations can be carried out and, if necessary, appropriate action taken.

Information about charges and decisions made that result in a ban may be published until the end of any ban, as set out in our Anti-Doping and Social Drug Regulation.

Where your data is held on FA systems, at the end of the retention periods set out above, we will not irrevocably delete your information for another 3 months – your data will be held in an inactive form for this time to ensure that any consequential links across our systems remain intact in the event that your data is removed in a particular location.

Last updated: 6 March 2020.