Controls in practice
In 2013, 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. 2013 was a pre-Olympic year, and so there was an intensification of the focus on those sports and athletes who were due to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi in February of 2014.
Otherwise, the Doping Authority was able to conduct targeted controls for specific individuals and/or groups, and occasional doping controls at competition levels immediately below the very top. Once again, the number of follow-up investigations and specific, supplementary analyses increased further and considerable 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. The user-friendliness of whereabouts reporting was enhanced for athletes by the development of the Whereabouts App, a major technical innovation. This Dutch approach was the first step towards worldwide standardisation and it was adopted as the basis for the ADAMS App launched globally by WADA. The innovative Dutch development will therefore ultimately affect the lives of more than 25,000 elite athletes around the world.
National testing pool (NTP)
Pursuant to the elaboration of the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the associated International Standards, the Doping Authority has had a national testing pool (NTP) since 2009.
Athletes in the National Testing Pool are required to comply with 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 2013 there were 12 sports associations with athletes in the NTP. This is fewer than in 2012, when there were 14. The number of athletes also fell by comparison with 2012: 394 athletes in 2013 at the start of the year, as opposed to 430 athletes in 2012.
Once again in 2013, athletes were only required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation: either the international federation or the Doping Authority. 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 from ADAMS about Dutch athletes, helping to ensure that the information available to the Doping Authority is up-to-date.
In 2013, as in previous years, the Doping Authority also drew extensively on information from external sources such as Internet sites of national and international federations, Twitter and Facebook. The whereabouts website developed by the Doping Authority (and the associated Whereabouts App for smart phones) provided both general and more detailed information about athletes, teams and training locations.
Controls conducted - general
The Doping Authority conducted two types of doping control for Dutch sports in 2013: doping controls in the context of the Dutch national programme, and doping controls on behalf and for the account of third parties, including national and international federations, event organisers and foreign National Anti-Doping Organisations. 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 2013 for the implementation of the national control programme on behalf of the Dutch sports associations.
The rising costs of doping controls have resulted in fewer controls being carried out in recent years. The available budget meant that a national programme of approximately 1,800 controls was possible in 2013. In accordance with the NOC*NSF policy, approximately 500 of these controls were earmarked for controls pursuant to records and qualification limits, for the implementation of 'target controls' and for follow-up investigations. On the basis of the anti-doping policy formulated with NOC*NSF, the Doping Authority spread the remaining 1,300 urine controls among the sports associations. A mathematical distribution model which includes information such as international and national doping incidence statistics is used to decide on this allocation.
The national programme – implementation
In 2013, 1,910 controls were conducted as part of the national programme. The overwhelming majority (1,849) were urine controls. There were also 61 blood controls in 2013, for example in the context of an “Athlete Biological Passport” project established last year (see also the relevant section later in this report). The 1,910 doping controls conducted as part of the national control programme covered 30 Olympic sports and 15 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 89:11.
There were no doping controls in a number of sports that are less susceptible to doping, examples being mind sports.
Doping controls in the national control programme: the top five
The percentage of out-of-competition controls (blood and urine) in the national programme was 47%. Relative to 2012, the percentage of out-of-competition doping controls rose (from 42% in 2012).
Of the 1,910 doping controls (blood and urine) conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,255 involved men (66%) and 655 women (34%).
Doping controls for 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 from the Doping Authority for international events in the Netherlands. A total of 580 doping controls were conducted on behalf of third parties, a fall of 21% relative to 2012, which was an Olympic year.
The majority of additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (97%). 371 men and 209 women underwent these controls.
Doping controls - total
The doping controls for the national control programme and the doping controls for third parties together make up the total doping control programme conducted in 2013. A total of 2,490 doping controls were carried out.
|Number of doping controls||2013||2012|
|On behalf of third parties||2,490||2,544|
|Doping controls conducted by the Doping Authority|
|Urine controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch National Programme)||1,849|
|Blood controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch National Programme)||61|
|Urine controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations||572|
|Blood controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations||8|
|Total conducted by the Doping Authority||2,490|
Total number of doping controls: the top five
The total number of 2,490 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations was 2% down on 2012 (2,544 controls).
|Sport||National Programme (Netherlands)||Conducted for third parties||Total conducted|
|Floorball and unihockey||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Baseball and Softball||40||0||40||0||0||0||40||0||40|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||12||0||12||2||0||2||14||0||14|
|Eastern martial arts||5||0||5||0||0||0||5||0||5|
|Sport||In competition||Out of competition|
|Floorball and unihockey||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Baseball and Softball||32||0||32||8||0||8|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||14||0||14||0||0||0|
|Eastern martial arts||0||0||0||5||0||5|
Doping controls that did not take place
Doping controls were not completed in 89 cases in 2013. 87% of these cases involved out-of-competition controls.
In most cases, these were:
- the occasions when athletes/teams were absent from events, competitions and central training sessions which they were expected to attend;
- 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;
- 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).
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 addition, a total of 60 definitive whereabouts failures were recorded in 2013, 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). This was a fall of 31% (2012: 87). In 2013, no athletes were involved in a third whereabouts filing failure in a period of 18 months.
Most filing failures occurred among athletes from the Dutch Swimming Association/Athletics Union and the Rowing/Skating Unions. The top three of missed tests was made up of athletes from the cycling, swimming and rowing associations.
The top three of the total number of whereabouts failures were accounted for by the swimming, rowing and cycling associations. 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. In 2012, the baseball/softball and basketball associations also had athletes involved in whereabouts filing failures. In 2013, there were no longer any athletes in these associations who were required to supply whereabouts information.
EPO and related substances
In 31% of cases, the urine samples were also analysed for EPO. This was double the number in 2012 (15%). The EPO analyses were conducted in different branches of sport, with most analyses targeting skating (in the run-up to the Winter Games in early 2014), cycling and athletics. As in 2012, a range of samples were also analysed for somatropine, hexarelin and testosterone levels. Analyses for growth hormones were also initiated. However, as a result of temporary analytical limitations, these samples have been stored for the time being and they will be analysed later.
Unannounced doping controls
Virtually all doping 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 were under the obligation to take the initiative for the control.
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.
Athlete Biological Passport
After receiving a project subsidy, the Doping Authority initiated a project in 2013 for the implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) in the doping control process. This project involved taking several blood samples from 18 selected athletes over a period of three months with the aim of establishing a longitudinal profile. A total of 53 blood samples were taken as part of this project. The blood controls for the Athlete Biological Passport were conducted in the following sports: athletics, skating, triathlon, cycling and swimming.
Mobile doping control station
In 2013, the mobile doping control station was used extensively at locations where establishing a fixed doping control station was difficult. The mobile station was used for, among other things, outdoor sports such as motor sport, cycling, water sports, equestrian sports, and triathlon. It was deployed for a total of ten different sports and demand for the mobile station has continued to increase.
Ninety files with adverse (analytical and non-analytical) findings were registered with the Doping Authority in 2013. In 89 cases, the adverse findings related to A urine samples; the finding was non-analytical in one case.
The adverse findings (including the non-analytical findings) - 90 files - accounted for 3.6% of the 2490 doping controls conducted. This percentage is higher than the percentage for 2012 (3.2%).
Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required
Of the 89 files with adverse findings for the A urine samples, 64 involved atypical findings for which specific follow-up investigations were required with the aim of determining whether there had been a possible doping violation. This is 72% of the anomalous A samples.
In 48 cases, the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio exceeded 4. There was also an atypical steroid profile in 13 cases. In two cases, there was an atypical finding for hCG and, in one case, an atypical finding was reported for boldenone.
In virtually all these cases, the Doping Authority initiated the isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) and/or additional doping controls in 2013. The follow-up investigation failed to establish that the atypical result was caused by exogenic factors in any of the 64 cases 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 prior to the doping control for the therapeutic use of the prohibited substance found. These files were therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question.
In three cases, before the binding result was reported to the association by the Doping Authority, the TUE Committee granted an exemption after all for the use of the substance found (the athletes in question were not in the Doping Authority's National Testing Pool). These files were closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question either.
On five occasions, a substance was found that is permitted by the regulations depending upon the method of administration; on all 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.
|Billiard sports||metoprolol||1||therapeutic use exemption issued after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Billiard sports||methylphenidate, metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption issued after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Hockey (not NL)||metabolite of budenoside||1||use in accordance with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Judo||Insulin||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Rugby||methylphenidate, metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption issued after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Rugby (not NL)||budenoside, metabolite of budenoside||1||use in accordance with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Triathlon||metabolite of budenoside||1||use in accordance with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Water sports||methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Cycling||metabolite of budenoside||1||use in accordance with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Cycling||bethametasone||1||use in accordance with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Swimming||Ritalin metabolite||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List
Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the WADA Prohibited List 2013, a substance and/or a high T/E ratio, or an atypical steroid profile was found on a total of 94 occasions in the 89 anomalous A samples referred to above.
Five urine samples contained two performance-enhancing substances (or their metabolites).
In 68 of the 94 cases, there were findings in the category of anabolic substances. On twelve occasions, these were stimulants and, on two occasions, metabolites of cannabis were found. This was a fall for both substance categories relative to 2012. The fall in the cannabinoid category can in all probability be explained by the decision taken by WADA in the course of 2013 to raise the threshold for analytical findings relating to cannabis by a factor of 10: from 15 ng/ml to 150 ng/ml. The fall in the stimulants category may be linked to the decision by the Dutch government to ban methylhexanamine and to remove products containing this substance from the shops.
The percentage in the anabolic substances category rose by 36% in 2013. This rise is largely accounted for by the higher number of urine samples with a T/E ratio exceeding 4 or with an atypical steroid profile.
There were no findings in 2013 in the β2 agonist category; there was a finding for the first time in the narcotics category.
|(T/E ratio >4)||(37)||(48)|
|(Atypical steroid profile)||(10)||(13)|
|Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances||0||4|
|Hormonal and metabolic modulators||2||1|
|Diuretics / masking substances||4||1|
Cases resulting in proceedings
In 2013, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings in 15 cases in eight different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association involved. The athletes were males in 14 cases and a female in one case. The strength sports were most strongly represented by far: in seven of the fifteen cases.
In one of the 15 cases, the result was from a doping control conducted in the Netherlands by the Doping Authority involving a foreign athlete covered by international anti-doping regulations. Result management for this control was transferred by the Doping Authority to the international federation in question.
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 0.73% (14 cases subject to national anti-doping-regulations resulting from 1910 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme). This percentage is less than the stated target for 2013 of a maximum of 1% positive cases in Dutch athletes.
|Athletics (not NL)||recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO)*||1|
|Cricket||MDMA, metabolite of cocaine||1|
|Archery||hydrochlorothiazide, metabolite of hydrochlorothiazide||1|
|Ice hockey||metabolite of cannabis||1|
|Ice hockey||metabolite of cocaine, amphetamines||1|
|Strength sports (bench presses)||metabolite of cocaine||1|
|Strength sports (bench presses)||metabolite of drostanolone, metabolite of nandrolone or a nandrolone prohormone||1|
|Strength sports (bench presses)||metabolite of stanozolol, metabolite of cannabis||1|
|Strength sports (weightlifting, not NL)||metabolite of methandienone||1|
|Strength sports (powerlifting)||metabolite of methandienone, oxilofrine||1|
|Strength sports (wrestling)||attempted manipulation||1|
|Strength sports (Wrestling, not NL)||metabolite of nandrolone or a nandrolone prohormone||1|
|Rugby (not NL)||MDMA||1|
|Shooting||oxycodone, metabolite of oxycodone||1|
* This was a control conducted in the Netherlands under international anti-doping regulations with the international federation assuming responsibility for result management.