Controls in practice


In 2011, work continued on the implementation of the anti-doping policy of the NOC*NSF, which was drawn up in close partnership with the Doping Authority in 2007. The emphasis of the doping controls has shifted even further towards the very top levels of Dutch sports. Otherwise, the Doping Authority was able to conduct more targeted controls for specific individuals and/or groups. The number of follow-up investigations and specific, supplementary analyses increased further. The other side of this picture was that there was no intensive controlling at the competitive levels just below the very top, even though a number of targeted controls took place at these levels. Once again, a lot of attention was paid to the whereabouts system. Some athletes in national or international testing pools are required to report some of their daily activities to the Doping Authority or the international federation. The Doping Authority only requires this from athletes participating in sports where there is a relatively high doping risk.

National testing pool (NTP)

Against the backdrop of the elaboration of the World Anti-Doping Code 2009 and the associated International Standards, the Doping Authority established a national testing pool (NTP) in 2009. Athletes in this national testing pool are required to meet a number of obligations, if the doping risk for their sport is high enough. For example, these athletes must apply in advance for therapeutic exemptions for the use of any medicines. They are also required to supply whereabouts information throughout the year and to learn about doping by attending an information meeting or looking at information online. In 2011, the number of athletes in the NTP was – on the basis of stricter criteria – reduced further to 409 (at year end 2011) from 17 different sports. Once again in 2011, these athletes were required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation only: either the international federation or the Doping Authority. The numbers of athletes concerned were 117 and 292 respectively at year end 2011. Pursuant to, among other things, European legislation relating to data protection, not all whereabouts information can be accessed for athletes when that whereabouts information is managed outside the Netherlands. The fact that this whereabouts information cannot be consulted continues to impede the implementation of the national out-of-competition test programme.

In 2011, as in the previous year, the Doping Authority also drew on information from external sources such as Internet sites of national and international federations, Twitter and Facebook. The site developed by the Doping Authority for the whereabouts system provided both general and detailed information about athletes, teams and training locations.

In late 2011, the Doping Authority worked together with the NOC*NSF, InnoSportNL and Logic BV, to produce a whereabouts app for mobile telephones that allows athletes to make changes to their whereabouts information in a simple way.

Controls conducted - general

The Doping Authority conducted doping controls for Dutch sports in 2011 in the context of the national programme. In addition, doping controls were conducted on behalf of and for the account of third parties, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), international federations (IFs) and foreign national anti-doping organisations (NADOs). The Doping Authority's responsibilities also included controls associated with records and qualification limits, 'target controls' when there were specific suspicions, and various types of follow-up investigations. Dutch athletes did not undergo controls in the Netherlands only; they were also subjected to controls, on instructions from the Doping Authority, by foreign NADOs in other countries.

The national programme – underlying principles

As in previous years, the Ministry of Sport and the NOC*NSF made funding available in 2011 for 2,000 doping controls on behalf of the Dutch sports associations. In accordance with the new NOC*NSF policy, approximately 400 of these controls were earmarked for controls associated with records and qualification limits, the implementation of 'target controls' and follow-up investigations. On the basis of the anti-doping policy formulated with NOC*NSF, the Doping Authority spread the remaining 1600 controls among the sports associations. A mathematical distribution model is used for this allocation. During the course of 2011, in consultation with NOC*NSF, the target of 2,000 controls was changed to 1,900 doping controls for budgetary reasons.

The national programme – implementation

In 2011, 1,965 controls were conducted as part of the national programme. These were all urine tests.

The 1,965 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme covered 29 Olympic sports and 17 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 77:23. There were no doping controls in a number of sports that are less susceptible to doping.

Doping controls in the national programme: the top five

  1. Cycling
  2. Swimming
  3. Skating
  4. Football
  5. Athletics

The percentage of out-of-competition controls in the national programme was 45%1.

1This percentage is equal to that in 2010

Of the 1,965 controls conducted for Dutch sports, 1,257 involved men (64%) and 708 women (36%). The male-female distribution in 2011 was therefore, once again, a reflection of the Dutch sports world2.

2The ratio was also 64% to 36% in 2010

Doping controls by third parties

The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), the Royal Netherlands Skating Association (KNSB) and the Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB) financed an extra doping control programme for Dutch competitions that is implemented alongside the national programme. Various Dutch associations have purchased additional doping controls for international events in the Netherlands. On the basis of assignments from third parties, a total of 628 doping controls were conducted, a fall of 16% compared with 2010. The vast majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (97%). These controls covered 409 men and 219 women.

Doping controls - total

In total (national programme and controls on behalf of third parties), 2,593 doping controls took place. In all cases, they were urine tests. The Doping Authority did not conduct any blood tests at its own initiative in 2011. The total number of 2,593 doping controls for Dutch sports was 8% down on 2010 (2,808 controls).

Table 1 Number of doping controls in 2010 and 2011
National programme 2,058 1,965
On behalf of third parties 750 628
Total 2,808 2,593

Total number of doping controls: the top five

  1. Cycling
  2. Skating
  3. Football
  4. Swimming
  5. Athletics

Table 2 – Number of dopingcontrols in 2011
Federation National Program Other
Athletics 125 37
Air sports 0 0
Archery 15 0
Badminton 11 4
Baseball and softball 117 0
Basketball 78 0
Billiards 21 0
Bobsledge 18 0
Bowling 8 0
Boxing 13 14
Bridge 0 10
Canoing 14 0
Car racing 0 3
Checkers 0 3
Chess 0 0
Climbing 12 2
Cricket 21 0
Curling 5 0
Cycling 247 193
Dancing 12 0
Darts 8 8
Diving 0 0
Eastern martial arts 2 0
Equestrian sports 18 0
Fencing 12 2
Football 138 104
Frisbee 0 0
Go 0 0
Golf 14 0
Gymnastics 45 0
Handball 37 0
Hockey 46 16
Ice hockey 25 0
In- and outdoor bowls 0 0
Jeu de boules 0 0
Judo 73 28
Karate-do 13 0
Korfball 50 0
Midgetgolf 0 0
Modern and military pentathlon 0 0
Motorcycle racing 68 0
Racquetball 0 0
Rescue swimming 7 3
Rollersports and bandy 14 0
Rowing 105 14
Rugby 46 0
Shooting 15 0
Skiing 12 0
Speedskating 138 117
Sports for Disabled 0 0
Squash 28 8
Strength Sports 43 4
Swimming 154 11
Tabletennis 6 36
Taekwondo 20 0
Tennis 16 5
Triathlon 32 2
Tug of War 0 0
Volleyball 38 0
Water Skiing 12 0
Water sports 13 4

Table 3 – Number of In- and Out of competition dopingcontrols in 2011
Federation In competition Out of competition
Athletics 97 65
Air sports 0 0
Archery 14 1
Badminton 15 0
Baseball and softball 53 64
Basketball 60 18
Billiards 21 0
Bobsledge 0 18
Bowling 8 0
Boxing 22 5
Bridge 6 4
Canoing 11 3
Car racing 3 0
Checkers 3 0
Chess 0 0
Climbing 14 0
Cricket 21 0
Curling 0 5
Cycling 308 132
Dancing 12 0
Darts 12 4
Diving 0 0
Eastern martial arts 0 2
Equestrian sports 12 6
Fencing 10 4
Football 116 126
Frisbee 0 0
Go 0 0
Golf 14 0
Gymnastics 20 25
Handball 32 5
Hockey 61 1
Icehockey 20 5
In- and outdoor bowls 0 0
Jeu de boules 0 0
Judo 65 36
Karate-do 8 5
Korfball 24 26
Midgetgolf 0 0
Modern and military pentathlon 0 0
Motorcycle racing 30 38
Racquetball 0 0
Rescue swimming 6 4
Rollersports and bandy 4 10
Rowing 46 73
Rugby 36 10
Shooting 15 0
Skiing 0 12
Speedskating 192 63
Sports for Disabled 0 0
Squash 32 4
Strength sports 24 23
Swimming 88 77
Tabletennis 42 0
Taekwondo 17 3
Tennis 10 11
Triathlon 30 4
Tug of War 0 0
Volleyball 33 5
Water Skiing 12 0
Water sports 12 5

Doping controls that did not take place

Doping controls were not completed in 205 cases in 2011. Seventy-six percent of these cases involved out-of-competition controls.

In most cases, these were:

  1. the occasions when a Doping Control Official (DCO) went to the address stated by an athlete and the athlete was not present during the control period without having given notice, or was not/no longer resident at that address.
  2. the occasions when a DCO went to training sessions or competitions and these training sessions or competitions had been cancelled or moved without the Doping Authority being informed accordingly in advance.
  3. the occasions when athletes/teams were absent from events and competitions and central training sessions which they were expected to attend.

When doping controls do not take place, attempts are made to conduct a control with the athlete as quickly as possible thereafter.

In 2011, a total of 12 filing failures (the failure to submit full whereabouts information in time) and 33 missed tests (absence of the athlete at the stated location) were attributed to 45 different athletes. For 16 athletes, this was their second infringement within 18 months. In one case, the filing failure was the third infringement in 18 months by the same athlete and proceedings have been initiated for an infringement of the doping regulations in this respect (see also table 5).

EPO and related substances

In 475 cases, the urine samples were also analysed for EPO. This is 12% down on 2010. This was a feature of various branches of sport, with cycling, skating and football constituting the top three. Relevant samples were also analysed for hexarelin and other growth factors.

Unannounced doping controls

The total percentage of out-of-competition controls was slightly up on 2010 at 35% of all controls. Virtually all controls were unannounced (‘no notice’). The only exceptions were doping controls triggered by a record or limit; in these cases, the athlete or the athlete's association must take the initiative for the doping control.

Target controls

The Doping Authority has the authority to conduct target controls. These controls are conducted in specific cases and on the basis of criteria determined beforehand. These criteria were updated in previous years and made less stringent so that target controls could be used even more widely. Target controls took place throughout the sports spectrum, with the emphasis being placed on a few specific sports.

Mobile doping control station

In 2011, the mobile doping control station was used extensively at locations where establishing a fixed doping control station was difficult. The station is used for, among other things, outdoor sports such as motor sport, equestrian sports, cycling and archery. The mobile doping control station was used for a total of 10 different sports.


The Doping Authority also managed the results of the 2,593 urine samples obtained in 2,075 cases, including any subsequent disciplinary steps. In the other 518 cases, this was done by the principal (usually an international federation).

In 2011, 115 files with adverse findings (110 anomalous A urine samples and 5 non-analytical findings) were registered with the Doping Authority.

The incidence of adverse findings and refusals (including non-analytical findings) – 115 in 2,075 files covered – was 5.5%.

Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required

Of the 110 files with anomalous A urine samples, 81 files involved cases reporting only a T/E ratio higher than 4 (50 cases) and/or an anomalous steroid profile (31 cases). This is 70% of the anomalous A samples. In all these cases, the Doping Authority initiated the validated isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) in 2011. In all relevant cases, subsequent investigation failed to show that the increase was a result of exogenous factors and the Doping Authority did not classify the results as non-adverse findings.

Files closed on the grounds of therapeutic use exemptions and similar

In three cases, it was found that a therapeutic use exemption had been granted for the therapeutic use of the prohibited substance found. These files were therefore closed. In two cases, the findings were caused by a contraceptive and the Doping Authority concluded that the result was negative. Finally, in one case, a substance was reported by the laboratory that can be prohibited or not, depending on the method of administration; in this case, the concentration was in accordance with the non-prohibited method of administration and the athlete had mentioned the use on the doping control form. The Doping Authority concluded that the result was negative in this case (see table 4).

In five cases, a therapeutic use exemption for the designated substance was granted after the file had already been transferred to the association responsible for disciplinary proceedings. In these cases, it is not the Doping Authority that decides to close the file, but the relevant association. These five cases have been included in both table 4 and table 5.

Table 4 – Adverse analytical findings in 2011, which were closed by the Doping Authority because of a TUE issued and/or for other reasons.
Sport bevinding/stof aantal afhandeling
Canoing metabolite of methylfenidate 1 TUE issued
Climbing formoterol  1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Dancing (metabolite of) methylfenidate 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Gymnastics norandrostron 2 finding result of use of non-prohibited contraceptive means
Hockey amfetamine 1 TUE issued
Hockey terbutaline 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Judo methylfenidate 1 TUE issued
Rugby metabolite of methylfenidate 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Swimming (not NL) metabolite of budesonide 1 concentration found in accordance with non-prohibited administration
Triathlon prednison and prednisolon 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Totaal   11  

Situation at the time of annual closure (TP=Testing Pool)

Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List

Using the classification of substances from the WADA prohibited list for 2011, a substance and/or an elevated T/E value or an atypical steroid profile was found in the 110 anomalous A urine samples referred to above on a total of 113 occasions (two urine samples contained two or more prohibited substances/metabolites and one urine sample contained a prohibited substance/metabolite and a raised T/E ratio). Substances from the category of anabolic substances were found in 85 of the 110 cases. Eight cases involved cannabis/cannabis metabolites, and stimulants were found in twelve cases. The percentage in the anabolic substances category rose by 37% in 2011. This increase was primarily caused by the high number of samples with a T/E ratio in excess of 4 or an atypical steroid profile.

Table 5 Detected substances and initial adverse findings
Name substance20102011
Anabolic substances 62 85
(T/E-ratio >4 - 51
(Atypical steroid profile - 30
(Detected substances - 4
Peptide hormones, growth factors 0 1
Beta2 agonists 4 3
Anti-oestrogenic substances 0 0
Diuretics / masking substances 2 0
Stimulants 12 12
Cannabinoids 6 8
Glucocorticosteroids 1 3
Beta blockers 0 1
Total 87 113

Increases were seen in 2011 in several groups of substances, including the use of cannabinoids. Once again, there was no finding in 2011 in the category ‘anti-oestrogenic substances’. The diuretics/masking substances category fell to 0 in 2011.

Cases resulting in proceedings

In 2011, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings in 28 cases in 23 different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association involved. The athlete was a male in 23 cases and a female in five cases.

Four of these 28 cases resulted from out-of-competition doping controls and the other 24 from in-competition doping controls. This large difference resulted from the fact that 17 of the infringements noted in competition related to substances that are prohibited only in competition.

In four of these 28 cases, result management was transferred to the Doping Authority by the Medical Sound Sports Service of the Flemish Government because the athletes were Dutch citizens and/or not members of a Flemish sports association but members of a Dutch sports association.

The laboratories found metabolites of cannabis in eight urine samples. Eight different sports disciplines were involved here in 2011. This number was higher than in 2010 (6 urine samples).

The percentage of cases in which proceedings were initiated, including the four controls conducted by the Flemish government, was 1.4% (28 cases under national anti-doping regulations from 1,965 contingent controls). This percentage was slightly up on the stated target for 2011 of a maximum of 1% doping infringements in Dutch athletes.

Table 6 – Adverse analytical findings and non analytical findings in 2011
Federation Finding/substance Number Action taken by sports organisation
Archery propranolol 1 ISR disciplinary committee: warning and reprimand
Athletics 3 whereabouts failures in 18 months 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 1 year suspension
Baseball and softball formoterol and T/E-ratio >4 (IRMS negative) 1 sports association: reprimand
Baseball and softball metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: warning and reprimand after appeal
Canoing metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: acquittal; Doping Authority has appealed
Climbing formoterol  1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Cricket metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: 6 months suspension
Cycling metabolite of methyltestosteron 1 case pending
Cycling recombinant human erythropoëtine (rhEPO) 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 years suspension
Cycling refusal / default 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 1 year suspension after appeal
Cycling refusal / default 1 ISR disciplinary committee: acquittal
Dancing (metabolite of) methylfenidate 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Golf (metabolite of) MDMA 1 sports association: 1 year suspension
Handball methylhexanamine 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 4 months suspension after appeal
Hockey metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: 3 months suspension
Hockey terbutaline 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Icehockey methylhexanamine 1 sports association: 5 months suspension
Judo methylhexanamine 1 sports association: warning and reprimand after appeal; WADA has appealed to CAS
Korfball refusal / default 1 sports association: acquittal after appeal
Motorcycle racing metabolite of cannabis 1 ISR disciplinary committee: warning and reprimand
Rowing methylphenidate 1 case pending
Rugby methylhexanamine 1 sports association: warning and reprimand
Rugby metabolite of methylphenidate 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Squash metabolite of cannabis 1 case pending
Strength Sports metabolite of cannabis and methylhexanamine 1 case pending
Strength Sports (not NL) refusal / default 1 sports association: case not prosecuted
Swimming (not NL) metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: 5 months suspension
Triathlon prednison and prednisolon 1 TUE issued after start proceedings (not TP)
Total   28  

Situation at time of annual closure (ISR = Dutch Sports Law Institute, NDR = Dutch Doping Regulations, TP = Testing Pool)