Controls in practice

General

In 2012, 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 is on the very top levels of Dutch sports. 2012 was an Olympic year and so testing was intensified in the sports with participants at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. Otherwise, the Doping Authority was able to conduct more targeted controls for specific individuals and/or groups, with occasional doping controls at competition levels immediately below the very top. The number of follow-up investigations and specific, supplementary analyses increased further. Once again, a lot of attention was paid to the whereabouts system. Some elite athletes, if they are members of national or international testing pools, are required to report some of their daily activities to the Doping Authority or the international federation. Innovative technology was used to make it easier for athletes to report their whereabouts. This Dutch approach was the first step towards worldwide standardisation.

National testing pool (NTP)

Pursuant to the elaboration of the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) 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. For example, before using any medicines, they must apply for a therapeutic use exemption from the TUE committee. They must also provide whereabouts information throughout the year and attend an educational activity organised by the Doping Authority. In 2012 there were 14 sports associations with athletes in the NTP. This is fewer than in 2011, when there were 20. The number of athletes is broadly similar to the number in 2011 (430 athletes in 2012 as opposed to 452 athletes in 2011 at the start of the year). Once again in 2012, athletes were only required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation: either the international federation or the Doping Authority. During the course of 2012, WADA gave the Doping Authority reading access to whereabouts information relating to Dutch athletes in the ADAMS global whereabouts system. As a result, the Doping Authority can now retrieve whereabouts information about Dutch athletes, helping to ensure that the information available to the Doping Authority is up-to-date.

In 2012, as in the previous year, the Doping Authority also drew on information from external sources such as websites 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.

Controls conducted - general

The Doping Authority conducted two types of doping control for Dutch Sports in 2012: controls in the context of the national programme and doping controls on behalf and for the account of third parties, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), international federations (IFs) and foreign NADOs. The Doping Authority's responsibilities also included controls pursuant to official records, 'target controls' when there were specific suspicions, and various types of follow-up investigations.

Controls in the Netherlands included not only Dutch athletes, but also athletes from other countries, sometimes on behalf of other NADOs.

The National Programme – underlying principles

As in previous years, the Ministry of Sport and the NOC*NSF made funding available in 2012 for the implementation of the national control programme on behalf of the Dutch sports associations. The rising costs of doping controls resulted in fewer controls being carried out. The available budget meant that a national programme of 1,800 controls was possible in 2012. In accordance with the NOC*NSF policy, approximately 400 of these controls were earmarked for controls pursuant to records and qualification limits, the implementation of 'target controls' and follow-up investigations. On the basis of the anti-doping policy formulated with THE NOC*NSF, the Doping Authority spread the remaining 1,300 controls among the sports associations. A mathematical distribution model which includes information such as international and national doping incidence rates is used to decide on this allocation.

The National Programme – implementation

In 2012, 1,810 controls were conducted as part of the national control programme. These were all urine tests.

The 1,810 doping controls conducted as part of the national control programme covered 29 Olympic sports and 16 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 80:20. There were no doping controls in a number of sports that are less susceptible to doping.

Doping controls in the national control programme: the top five

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

The percentage of out-of-competition controls in the national programme was 42%. Compared with 2011, the percentage of out-of-competition doping controls fell slightly. In addition to the national control programme, the Doping Authority conducted a supplementary testing programme in the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London before the Dutch athletes set off for the British capital. These additional controls, which were financed by the NOC*NSF, have been included in the overview of “Doping controls for third parties”.

Of the 1,810 contingent controls conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,183 involved men (65%) and 627 women (35%). The male-female distribution in 2012 was therefore, once again, a reflection of the Dutch sports world.

Doping controls for third parties

The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) 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 controls for international events in the Netherlands.

On the basis of assignments from third parties, a total of 734 doping controls were conducted, an increase of 17% compared with 2011.

The majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (81%). 458 men and 276 women underwent these controls.

Doping controls - total

The controls for the national control programme and the controls for third parties together make up the total doping control programme conducted in 2012. A total of 2,544 doping controls were carried out. In all cases, they were urine tests. The Doping Authority did not conduct any blood tests at its own initiative in 2012.

Table 1 General overview of doping controls conducted in 2012
Conducted by the Doping Authority for Dutch Sports as part of the national control programme 1.81
Conducted by the Doping Authority for foreign sports organisations and other organisations 734
Total conducted by the Doping Authority 2544
  2012 2011
National programme 1810 1965
On behalf of third parties 734 628
Total 2544 2593

Total number of doping controls: the top five

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

The total number of 2,544 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations was 2% down on 2011 (2,593 controls).

Table 2 Overview of the number of doping controls conducted in 2012
Sport Conducted (contingent) Conducted (other)
Athletics 116 27
Car racing 0 0
Badminton 6 12
Basketball 59 0
Billiard sports 21 0
Bobsleigh 14 0
Boxing 14 0
Bowling 8 0
Bridge 0 0
Cricket 12 0
Curling 5 0
Draughts 0 0
Dance sport 12 0
Darts 8 8
Fitness and Hiphop 0 2
Frisbee 0 0
Disabled sports 0 0
Go 0 0
Golf 12 1
Gymnastics 42 0
Handball 53 0
Archery 13 12
Equestrian sports 17 16
Hockey 48 64
Baseball and softball 88 0
Ice hockey 20 0
Indoor and outdoor bowls 0 0
Boules 0 0
Judo 63 0
Karate Do 13 0
Mountaineering and climbing 13 0
Korfball 35 2
Strength sports 79 0
Air sports 0 0
Minigolf 0 0
Modern and miltary pentathlon 0 0
Motor sport 46 0
Underwater sport 0 0
Eastern martial arts 4 0
Racquetball 0 0
Life-saving 7 1
Rowing 97 2
Roller sports and bandy 14 0
Rugby 36 0
Skating 131 113
Chess 0 0
Fencing 13 4
Shooting 21 1
Skiing 14 0
Squash 20 0
Taekwondo 15 0
Table tennis 10 8
Tennis 17 9
Triathlon 28 0
Football 115 119
Volleyball 44 62
Water skiing 8 9
Water sports 25 16
Cycling 237 164
Swimming 137 82
Table 3 Number of in-competition and out-of-competition controls in 2012
Sport In competition Out of competition
Athletics 78 65
Car racing 0 0
Badminton 16 2
Basketball 37 22
Billiard sports 21 0
Bobsleigh 0 14
Boxing 6 8
Bowling 8 0
Bridge 0 0
Cricket 12 0
Curling 0 5
Draughts 0 0
Dance sport 12 0
Darts 12 4
Fitness and Hiphop 2 0
Frisbee 0 0
Disabled sports 0 0
Go 0 0
Golf 12 1
Gymnastics 12 30
Handball 52 1
Archery 22 3
Equestrian sports 12 21
Hockey 68 44
Baseball and softball 32 56
Ice hockey 20 0
Indoor and outdoor bowls 0 0
Boules 0 0
Judo 24 39
Karate Do 8 5
Mountaineering and climbing 12 1
Korfball 28 9
Strength sports 59 20
Air sports 0 0
Minigolf 0 0
Modern and miltary pentathlon 0 0
Motor sport 25 21
Underwater sport 0 0
Eastern martial arts 0 4
Racquetball 0 0
Life-saving 6 2
Rowing 32 67
Roller sports and bandy 0 14
Rugby 24 12
Skating 197 47
Chess 0 0
Fencing 10 7
Shooting 21 1
Skiing 0 14
Squash 20 0
Taekwondo 13 2
Table tennis 8 10
Tennis 14 12
Triathlon 24 4
Football 114 120
Volleyball 88 18
Water skiing 17 0
Water sports 16 25
Cycling 301 100
Swimming 158 61

Doping controls that did not take place

Doping controls were not completed in 130 cases in 2012.

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 (in the cases of doping controls without whereabouts information).
  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.

92% of these cases involved out-of-competition controls.

When doping controls are prevented from taking place, attempts are made to conduct a control with the athlete in questions as quickly as possible thereafter.

In 2012, a total of 87 definitive whereabouts failures were recorded, including filing failures (the failure to provide the relevant information correctly and on time) and missed tests (in which the athlete is not present at the stated location within the one hour time slot). For 10 athletes, this was their second infringement within 18 months. In one case, the whereabouts failure was the third infringement in 18 months by the same athlete and proceedings were initiated by the athlete's international federation for an infringement of the doping regulations (see also table 6). The top ??three of Filing failures comprised KNBSB, KNZB and NBB athletes respectively. The top three of Missed tests comprised KNRB, KNBSB and KNWU athletes respectively. The leading numbers of Whereabouts failures were accounted for by the KNBSB and KNZB. It should be pointed out that associations with a large number of athletes in the National Testing Pool are more likely to have athletes who fail to meet whereabouts obligations.

EPO and related substances

In 15% of cases, the urine samples were also analysed for EPO. This is slightly less than in 2011 (18%). This slight fall can be explained by the reduction in the number of controls in the National Programme from 1965 in 2011 to 1,810 in 2012. The EPO analyses were a feature of various branches of sport, with cycling, skating and athletics constituting the top three. Various samples were also analysed for somatropine, hexarelin and testosterone use.

Unannounced doping controls

The total percentage of out-of-competition controls was the same as in 2011 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 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 and also controls at the level just below the very top.

Mobile doping control station

In 2012, the mobile doping control station was used extensively at locations where establishing a fixed doping control station was difficult. The mobile station is used for, among other things, outdoor sports such as motor sport, cycling, water sports, equestrian sports, and triathlon. The mobile doping control station was used for a total of 12 different sports.

Findings

In 2012, 82 cases with adverse findings were registered with the Doping Authority. In 76 cases, anomalous A urine samples were found; on one occasion, there was an anomalous A urine sample in combination with a non-analytical finding. Together, this amounted to 77 cases with an anomalous A sample. Five cases involved non-analytical findings only.

The incidence of adverse findings (including non-analytical findings) - 82 in 2,544 controls - was 3.2%. The percentage was 1.2% down on 2011 (4.4%).

Table 4 Number of findings as a proportion of doping controls
2012 2.544 3.2%
2011 2.593 4.4%
2010 2.805 3.0%
2009 2.636 2.8%
2008 2.667 2.7%
2007 2.729 3.7%
2006 2.825 4.8%
2005 3.052 4.0%
2004 2.848 1.9%
2003 2.876 1.3%

Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required

Of the 77 files with anomalous A urine samples, 45 files involved cases reporting only a T/E ratio higher than 4 (35 times) and/or an anomalous steroid profile (10 times: an atypical finding). This is 58% of the anomalous A samples. In 2012, the Doping Authority initiated isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) in all these cases. In none of the 45 cases did subsequent investigation show that the increase was a result of exogenous factors and the Doping Authority therefore classified the results as non-adverse findings.

Files closed on the grounds of therapeutic use exemptions

In three cases, it was found that a therapeutic use exemption had already been granted for the therapeutic use of the prohibited substance found. These files were therefore closed and did not therefore result in proceedings with the sports association in question. On two occasions, a substance was found that is either permitted or not, depending on how it is administered; on both occasions, the administration method was permitted and the athletes in question had also listed the substance on the doping control form. The Doping Authority again concluded that these results were negative (see table 5).

Case that could not be pursued

In one case (an anomalous A urine sample in combination with a non-analytical finding), it emerged after an assessment that the case could not be pursued by the association in question because the athlete was not a member of the association. Athletes must be members of an association in order to be subject to anti-doping regulations. The athlete participated in a competition organised officially under the regulations of the association for which membership was a prerequisite. The Doping Authority has talked to the management of the Association to prevent similar cases in the future.

Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List

Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the WADA Prohibited list 2012, a substance and/or a high T/E ratio, or an atypical steroid profile was found in the 77 anomalous A samples referred to above.

Four urine samples contained metabolites of two performance-enhancing substances (or their metabolites) and one urine sample contained a metabolite of a performance-enhancing substance and a high T/E ratio. Substances from the category of anabolic substances were found in 50 of the 82 cases. On 15 occasions, these were stimulants and, on eight occasions, metabolites of cannabis were found. The percentage in the anabolic substances category fell sharply by 41% in 2012. This fall was primarily caused by a lower number of urine samples with a T/E ratio in excess of 4 or an atypical steroid profile.

Table 5 Detected substances and initial adverse findings
  2011 2012
Anabolic substances 85 50
(T/E ratio >4) (51) (37)
(Atypical steroid profile) (30) (10)
(substances found) (4) (3)
Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances 1 0
B2 agonists 3 0
Hormonal and metabolic modulators 0 2
Diuretics / masking substances 0 4
Stimulants 12 15
Cannabinoids 8 8
Glucocorticosteroids 3 3
Beta blockers 1 0
Total 113 82

In 2012, there was an increase in several groups of substances, including the use of hormonal and metabolic modulators, diuretics/ masking substances and stimulants, and a decline in the groups of peptide hormones, growth factors and associated substances and b2 agonists. An explanation for the fall in the findings in the b2 agonist group may be the fact that, in 2012, inhalation of the asthma medication formoterol in low doses was permitted by the prohibited list. Once again, as in 2011, there was no finding in 2012 in the category ‘anti-oestrogenic substances’.

Cases resulting in proceedings

In 2012, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings in 31 cases in 15 different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association involved. Most of these 31 cases related to strength sports, followed by cycling. The athlete was a male in 28 cases and a female in three cases.

In seven cases, the TUE committee granted a retrospective therapeutic use exemption for the use of the substance found. The relevant sports associations were advised that, from the point of view of the Doping Authority, there were no longer any grounds for proceeding with these cases. In all cases, the associations in question did indeed terminate the proceedings.

In six of these 31 cases, the results were not from doping controls conducted by the Doping Authority but doping controls involving Dutch athletes that were conducted abroad. The result management relating to these controls was transferred to the Doping Authority by the relevant NADO or IF. This was done because the athletes in question were Dutch citizens and/or because, at the time of the control, they were not members of a foreign sports association but were members of a Dutch association.

In 11 of the 31 cases in which proceedings were initiated, the laboratories found metabolites of stimulants. Eight different sports disciplines were involved in 2012.

The percentage of cases in which proceedings were initiated, including the six controls conducted by colleagues in other countries, was 1.7% (31 cases under national anti-doping regulations from 1,810 contingent controls). The percentage of cases in which proceedings were initiated in 2012 pursuant to controls conducted on Dutch territory by the Doping Authority as part of the national programme was 1.4%. This percentage exceeded the stated target for 2012 of a maximum of 1% positive cases in Dutch athletes.

Table 6 Adverse analytical findings and non-analytical findings in 2012; situation at time of finalisation of annual report (ISR = Institute for Sports Law, TP= Testing Pool)
Sport finding/substance number action taken by sports organisation
Athletics metabolite and artefact of hydrochlorothiazide 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Basketball furosemide 1 IF appeals committee: 1 year suspension
Billiard sports metabolite and artefact of hydrochlorothiazide 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Billiard sports attempted evasion, metabolite of cannabis 1 athlete not a member of sports association, case impossible to pursue
Billiard sports (not NL) metabolite of cannabis 1 proceedings instituted with sports association
Hockey MDMA, metabolite of cocaine 1 sports association: 1 year suspension
Hockey metabolite of methylphenidate 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Ice hockey methylhexaneamine 1 proceedings instituted with sports association
Judo metabolite of cocaine 1 proceedings instituted with sports association *
Strength sports attempt at evasion 1 disciplinary committee ISR: 6 year suspension, appeal by athlete *
Strength sports metabolite of cannabis 2 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Strength sports metabolite of cannabis 1 proceedings instituted with sports association
Strength sports metabolite of methandienone, methylhexaneamine 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Strength sports methylhexaneamine 1 proceedings instituted with sports association
Strength sports methylhexaneamine 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Strength sports T/E ratio >4, metabolite of tamoxifen 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Strength sports (not NL) metabolite of drostanolone 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Rugby MDA, MDMA, methylhexaneamine 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Rugby metabolite of methandienone 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Shooting T/E ratio >4 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Tennis 3 whereabouts failures in 18 months 1 proceedings instituted with international federation
Volleyball methylphenidate 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Volleyball (not NL) metabolite of cannabis 1 sports association: reprimand
Water skiing and wakeboarding metabolite of cannabis 1 ISR disciplinary committee: reprimand *
Water skiing and wakeboarding metabolite of cannabis 1 proceedings instituted with sports association
Water sports methylphenidate 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Cycling attempted evasion 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 1 year suspension *
Cycling attempted evasion 2 ISR disciplinary committee: acquittal *
Cycling metabolite of tamoxifen 1 ISR disciplinary committee: 2 year suspension
Swimming metabolite of methylphenidate 1 therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed
Total   32  

* A Dutch athlete who underwent a control in another country,

with the result management of the case being transferred to the Doping Authority in 2012. ‚Äč