Dutch doping regulations (NDR)

New Dutch doping regulations (NDR) were drafted in 2011. There were two principal reasons. First, the WADA had indicated that the NDR needed amendments in a number of areas in order to fully conform with the World Anti-Doping Code. Secondly, a number of complex doping cases had led to a wish for the introduction of amendments and improvements. WADA made an official appraisal of the amended NDR in late 2011 and found it to be in full compliance with the Code.

Integration of doping regulations

The new NDR was distributed in the spring of 2011 to the elite sports associations so that they could amend their own doping regulations before 1 January 2012. Timely adoption can be difficult if the associations have only one opportunity annually (a general meeting, for example) to adopt new regulations. To circumvent this problem, more and more associations are delegating the competence to adopt doping regulations to the board. The adoption of the new doping regulations has generally proceeded smoothly.

Annexes to the regulations

The national doping regulations include a range of annexes that are essential for the application of the regulations. The best-known is the WADA Prohibited list, but the annexes relating to whereabouts information and therapeutic use exemptions are also inextricably linked to the regulations. In response to changes in the rules followed by the WADA for therapeutic use exemptions, the TUE arrangements linked to the NDR have been amended. The boards of the elite sports associations (and the ISR board on behalf of the associations affiliated to the ISR) were required to adopt these amended arrangements. The new NDR include a structure that makes it possible to amend annexes to the regulations without requiring all the boards to take action. This structure was established in part in response to the express wishes of the associations.

Institute for Sports Law (ISR)

In 2011, the rule went into effect at the ISR that allows the Doping Authority to submit pleadings in all doping proceedings at the ISR. This rule also allows the Doping Authority to attend the oral hearings in doping proceedings. Both the Doping Authority and the ISR disciplinary judges are very satisfied with the effect of the new competence granted to the Doping Authority and they are of the opinion that this role for the Doping Authority will make a positive contribution to doping proceedings.

Doping cases

The first six months of 2011 were largely dominated by the proceedings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of two doping cases dating back some years. The first case related to the athlete Simon Vroemen, who instigated an appeal with the CAS against the decision of the ISR Appeals Committee to suspend him for a period of two years. The second case related to the skater Wesley Lommers, with both the Doping Authority and the association appealing against the acquittal by the Appeals Committee of the Royal Netherlands Skating Association. In both cases, the CAS found that there was not the least doubt about the positive result and the Doping Authority won the cases.

Civil proceedings

Athletes quite regularly turn to the civil courts, often instigating summary legal proceedings in matters of special urgency, to challenge disciplinary decisions (or parts of those decisions) given in doping proceedings. This happened on a few occasions in 2011 as well, with the sports associations in question being involved in the proceedings. In formal terms, the Doping Authority was not involved but it did play a role as an adviser/expert.

Doping Act

The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport intends to submit a Doping Bill to parliament. The Bill will focus on establishing a statutory basis for the implementation of the anti-doping policy alongside the basis in association regulations that has been used in the Netherlands until now.

The Doping Authority was involved in consultations in 2011 about the Doping Bill, during which it put forward its ideas and position.

Guideline for reports of infringements

In May, a guideline for reports and infringements was adopted and published on the website. The guideline explains how the Doping Authority acts when it receives reports of one or more possible doping infringements. Incidentally, since the guideline was published, no reports have been processed.