European Court of Human Rights: review of the judgment of 18 January 2018 (Fifth section) in the case of FNASS and Others v. France (applications nos. 48151/11, 77769/13)

Available in Russian

Author: Daria Saltykova

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2018-3-28-35

Keywords: anti-doping rules; control after sportsmen’ whereabouts; invasion of privacy; long-term control after sportsmen; professional athletes; respect for home; the right to respect for private and family life; unannounced anti-doping tests


In the judgment in the case of FNASS v. France, the Chamber of European Court of Human Rights considered an issue concerning the requirement for a targeted group of professional sportsmen to inform the authorities of their whereabouts for the purposes of anti-doping tests. The applicants claimed that the authorities’ actions constituted a violation of their right to respect for private and family life and home. They complained of a particularly intrusive anti-doping control system that allowed tests to be carried out every day at their homes or training venues. They noted that this system resulted in long-term interference with their right to a normal family life and a breach of their privacy. The claimant also alleged that her continued renewed registration in a targeted group constituted a repeated violation of her right to the respect for private and family life. The Chamber concluded that the unannounced tests did not violate the Article 8 of the Convention. The requirement for the members of a targeted group to be available and transparent was sufficient for the Court to find that whereabouts requirement interfered with the applicants’ privacy. The Court observed, however, that the objective of anti-doping control was the protection of health which falls within the public interest. It was considered that the importance of the protection of health was provided by international and national acts and that doping prevention was clearly a health concern. The Court agreed that negative consequences of the use of doping constitute another reason for a better protection of the health of professional sportsmen who fall within the risk group of use of doping. Moreover, the Court stressed that the use of doping also violates the rights and freedoms of others by depriving the spectators of the fair competitions which they expected. Regarding the necessity in democratic society, the Court reiterated that there was a consensus on every level of authorities about the importance of anti-doping control due to perils and negative consequences that use of doping causes. Thus, the Court held that the respondent State had struck a fair balance between the various interests at stake and that there had been no violation of Article 8 of the Convention

Citation: (2018) Evropeyskiy Sud po pravam cheloveka: obzor postanovleniya ot 18 yanvarya 2018 goda (Sektsiya V) po delu FNASS i drugie protiv Frantsii (zhaloby no.48151/11, 77769/13) [European Court of Human Rights: review of the judgment of 18 January 2018 (Fifth Section) in the case of FNASS and Others v. France (applications nos.48151/11, 77769/13)]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.8, no.3, pp.28–35. (In Russian).