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Reinstatement Involving Testing Positive for an NCAA Banned Substance NCAA Bylaw

Explanation of the application of the rule following a positive drug-test.

A student-athlete is declared ineligible due to a positive test in conjunction with the NCAA year-round drug-testing pro­gram/NCAA Division I/II/III championship. This information serves to assist in understanding the provisions of NCAA Bylaw (Duration of Ineligibility) and the current NCAA Division I, II and III Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement policies and procedures if reinstatement of a student-athlete’s eligibility is later requested.

Under Bylaw, the student-athlete becomes ineligible for all regular season and postseason competition until eligibility is reinstated by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff on behalf of the committee.  Pursuant to Bylaw, requests for reinstatement of eligibility will not be considered until the student-athlete has remained in­eligible for a minimum of one calendar year (365 days) after the student-athlete has tested positive for a banned substance and after the student-athlete has been withheld from the equivalent of an NCAA season, the student-athlete retests negative by the NCAA (notice of which is provided to the student-athlete reinstatement staff by The National Center for Drug Free Sport), and the institution submits a request for reinstatement of eligibility via AMA Online.

In addition, Bylaw requires that if a student-athlete tests positive a second time for the use of any drug (other than a "street drug" as defined in Bylaw, the student-athlete shall lose all remaining regular season and postseason eligibility in all sports. This permanent loss of eligibility is mandatory; therefore, the student-athlete’s eligibility cannot be reinstated.  If a student-athlete tests positive for the use of a “street drug” after having tested positive for use of any banned drug, he or she shall be charged with the loss of a minimum of one additional season of competition in all sports and shall remain ineligible for regular-season and postseason competition during the time period ending once calendar year (365 days).

Information pertinent to a student-athlete who transfers following a positive drug-test.

If the student-athlete transfers to another NCAA institution while ineligible under Bylaw, the institution from which the student-athlete transferred must notify the new institution that the student-athlete is ineligible.  Please note that due to the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment), the institution may be limited to disclosing only that the student-athlete is ineligible and not that the student-athlete is ineligible due to a positive drug test unless consent is received from the student-athlete to disclose the positive drug test.

If the student-athlete immediately transfers to a non-NCAA institution while ineligible and competes in collegiate competition within the 365-day period at a non-NCAA institution, the student-athlete will be ineligible for all NCAA regular season and postseason competition until the student-athlete does not compete in collegiate competition for a 365-day period. Additionally, the student-athlete must retest negative (in accordance with the testing methods authorized by the NCAA Executive Committee) and request that eligibility be reinstated by the Committee on Student-athlete Reinstatement.   

Process for reinstating a student-athlete following a positive drug-test.

The first step in the process is for an NCAA institution to schedule the exit test with the National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc (The Center) (telephone number is 816/474-8655).  The mandatory exit test may occur no sooner than the 11th month of the minimum one-year period of ineligibility.

If an NCAA institution believes the circumstances warrant requesting reinstatement of eligibility, it must submit a student-athlete reinstatement request via AMA Online as required per By­law 14.12 (Restoration of Eligibility).

Please note that the application of NCAA drug-testing legislation causes the involved student-athlete to lose at least the equivalent of one season of competition and if the student-athlete competes in that same season prior to testing positive he or she will have utilized a season of competition according to the minimum amount of competition legislation. For example, if a student-athlete competes during the same season he or she tests positive, that student-athlete will:

       *    have utilized a season of competition according to NCAA minimum amount of competition legislation and

       *    be charged with the loss of one season of competition as result of a positive test and

      *    be withheld from the equivalent of one season of competition.

Consequently, it is possible for a student-athlete to be charged with the use of two seasons of competition during one academic year as follows:

2008-09 season: Student-athlete competes entire season. (Use of Season No. 1) 

2009-10 season: Student-athlete competes in first four contests (Use of Season No. 2- minimum amount of competition), tests positive for a banned substance and is declared ineligible for further participation in postseason and regular-season competition in accordance with the ineligibility provisions of Bylaw (Automatic charge of Season No. 3- banned drug penalty)

2010-11 season: Student-athlete sits out 365 days and the next four contests of the season (including postseason contests if the institution’s team qualifies). Student-athlete competes in last four contests of the season. (Use of Season No. 4- minimum amount of competition)

[Reference:  December 2, 2010, staff interpretation]

Also, under the provisions of Bylaw, those student-athletes who test positive and do not use a season of competition pursuant to NCAA legislation will be charged with the loss of one season of competition in all sports.  Further, please note that if the institution submits a request for reinstatement at the end of the 365-day period, the committees may impose additional conditions for reinstatement of eligibility or may conclude that reinstatement is in­appropriate.