The goal of the Prevention Department is: the prevention of inadvertent and deliberate doping violations in Dutch sport. The main target groups are: elite athletes, athletes in sports organised outside a club context (fitness training in particular), support staff (principally trainers/coaches, sports doctors and GPs, physiotherapists, dieticians/sport dieticians, sports masseurs, parents), the sports associations and the general public.
The activities include providing information about doping regulations, the risks of doping, proposing healthy and legitimate alternatives for enhancing performance, and efforts to establish or reinforce anti-doping attitudes among athletes and support staff.
The following items are addressed specifically during information meetings for elite athletes: the health risks associated with doping, the rights and obligations of athletes, the prohibited list, the doping control procedure, arrangements for therapeutic use exemptions, the whereabouts system, the risks of dietary supplements and the damage inflicted by doping to the 'spirit of sport', and the 100% Dope Free campaign.
With the fitness training target group, the emphasis is on guest classes during the numerous fitness training courses. These lessons deal with the different types of doping, the risks of use, the way the substances work and the side-effects, fact and fiction relating to supplements, doping prevention and the Own Strength campaign.
Meetings for support staff cover these issues as well, but also focus in particular on the rights and obligations of support staff, as well as factors that exacerbate or mitigate the risk of doping.
The corporate website and the 100% Dope Free and Own Strength sites are important ways of communicating with the various target groups. Anyone with questions relating to doping can submit them to the Doping E-mail Line.
Elite sport campaign 100% Dope Free
All information activities focusing on Dutch elite sport have now been transferred to the elite sport campaign, 100% Dope Free. The campaign is based on periodical surveys under Dutch elite athletes which showed that the vast majority of elite athletes were opposed to doping. In addition to providing information, this campaign focuses on reinforcing and changing attitudes and behaviour.
The website of the campaign plays a central role: all information about the campaign can be found there. Thirteen press releases were issued in 2013 and two newsletters were sent to all the subscribers (numbering approximately 14,000).
100% Dope Free - True Winner
This part of the campaign (which began in December 2007) gives elite and competitive athletes the opportunity to sign an anti-doping statement and to adopt an active stance against doping. Once they have signed the statement, the athletes are sent the gold wristband that symbolises the fact that you are only a true winner if you perform without doping. In 2013, the number of statements signed increased from more than 25,000 to 28,000.
This part of the programme was developed and implemented in collaboration with the NOC*NSF Athletes Committee. Femke Dekker (rowing), Rutger Smith (athletics), Jokelyn Tienstra (handball), Carl Verheijen (speed skating), Richard Bottram (marathon 365 & Wheel of Energy), Epke Zonderland (gymnastics), and Mirjam de Koning-Peper (paralympic swimming), Thijs van Valkengoed (swimming), Churandy Martina (athletics), Marianne Vos (cycling) and Vince Rooi (baseball) are the ambassadors for the campaign. Bauke Mollema (cycling) joined the ranks in 2013, and his contribution included a video on the website.
Members of the National Testing Pool are required to attend one Doping Authority information meeting a year. This can be arranged through the sports associations but collaboration is mostly with the Olympic Support Centres. In total, there were 47 information meetings for elite athletes and their immediate support staff. In addition, 14 athletes availed themselves of the online information facility, which received an average rating of 8.4 (out of 10) in 2013.
There were seven outreach events in 2013. The idea is to deliberately target events/competitions, where large groups of athletes (particularly young and talented athletes) and their parents and trainers/coaches can be given general information and where they can put questions to the Doping Authority. There is also an opportunity to sign the 100% Dope Free – True Winner statement. By completing the WADA doping quiz, it is possible to win an incentive. Outreach events were organised at: the National Rowing Congress, the National Indoor Athletics Championships, the National Gymnastics Championships, the EYOF team presentation, EYOF (different events over a period of five days), European Track Cycling Championships, and the Day of Cycling.
Doping fan booklet
The last hard-copy doping fan booklet was published in 2013. The theme was Stay Negative. It contains the main doping rules, the WADA prohibited list, the list of common approved medicines (classified according to symptoms), and an explanation of the doping control procedure. In early January, when the new prohibited list came into force, the fan booklet was sent to all A and B athletes and 'High Potentials'. In addition, all sports doctors, the members of the TUE committee and the Doping Authority's press contacts received a fan booklet. Elite sport organisations and Olympic Support Centres have also been asked to distribute the booklet to athletes and support staff. The doping fan booklet was also handed out during information meetings, outreach events and at fairs. DCOs take booklets with them and they can hand them out during doping controls. The doping fan booklet can also be purchased separately. The Doping Information App has been developed for 2014, and has a mobile website (www.dopingwaaier.nl).
Stay Negative Folder!
A compact folder also appeared in 2013 with the title Stay Negative! (in Dutch). The folder is intended for large groups of athletes who may qualify for doping controls, and to alert them to the main risks that may lead to non-deliberate doping violations. The folder was disseminated through all sports associations, Olympic Networks, all sports medicine institutions and all Professional Football Organisations.
Doping educational activities are focusing increasingly on talented athletes (International Talent, Dutch Talent, High Potentials). The brochure Talents Only! was published in 2013. Alongside the brochure, additional material can be found on the 100% Dope Free website, including thematic videos and additional texts. Talents can earn certificates by 'breaking the code' in the brochure.
A topical doping subject is discussed every month in the NOC*NSF elite sport magazine Lopend Vuur. Seven articles were published in 2013.
100% Dope Free videos
The video was produced in 2013 with ambassador Bauke Mollema. Thematic videos (86 in total) were also developed with ambassadors and talents to accompany the Talents Only! brochure.
The 'Be True' advert was used to generate publicity for the campaign. It calls on athletes to sign the 100% Dope Free – True Winner statement and to support the campaign. This advertisement was placed in a range of sports magazines in 2013.
Doping Information App
A Doping Information App was developed in 2013 with a project subsidy from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The app was developed for iOS and Android. For other systems, there is a mobile website (www.dopingwaaier.nl). In addition to the content of the Doping Fan Booklet, the app also makes it possible to check all medicines registered in the Netherlands to see whether they contain prohibited substances or not. The app can also be used to check the Dietary Supplements list and it has pre-selection options (by type and brand). This all makes access to the information in the app simpler, cheaper and faster. Users now have the option of checking all medication and the Dietary Supplements list simply for themselves and so the entire system is more user-friendly. The Doping Information App became available at the end of December 2013 and there was a promotional campaign (in the form of a card, a z-card and advertisements) to bring it to the attention of the various target groups.
Follow-up to the report from the Sorgdrager Commission
On Monday 17 June 2013, the Anti-Doping Approach Commission - better known as the Sorgdrager Commission - published its report. The Doping Authority was represented by two members on the support committee. In the report, the Sorgdrager Commission made a range of anti-doping recommendations for cycling and elite sports in general. At the request of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, a follow-up project was developed for 2014 that will include work on a cultural transformation. The project partners are the KNWU, the NOC*NSF and the Doping Authority.
The follow-up project, which was already initiated in late 2013, includes information evenings with Rudi Kemna (a former professional cyclist and a team manager with Giant-Shimano). In the autumn of 2013, he organised a range of presentations with the Doping Authority during the course of which he told his personal story about the doping culture in cycling. His message is that integrity and innovation are winning the struggle with doping.
Sports organised outside a club context
Own Strength campaign
The main target group in sports organised on alternative lines consists of: visitors to fitness centres and their immediate circles (particularly fitness instructors). The Own Strength campaign was developed for this group. The campaign material includes: a poster for men and women, a large Own Strength pot, a display with leaflets, a T-shirt, a water bottle and a DVD. The campaign was promoted using things like a promotion folder through a range of fitness magazines and information activities. At the end of 2013, 193 fitness centres were participating in the campaign.
To generate extra interest in the Own Strength campaign in fitness centres, a ‘winter campaign’ was organised between late December 2012 and the early months of 2013. This campaign consisted of extra web messages on the website (www.eigenkracht.nl) during the course of these months, an announcement about the campaign on the website, an advertisement in Fit!Magazine and a mailing to more than 800 fitness centres who are members of Fit!vak. Furthermore, a telephone campaign was launched in December/January to encourage fitness centres to make use of the Own Strength information materials and, in that way, to be included on the list of Own Strength Centres (on the website). That resulted in 30 new centres, raising the total number of participating centres to 171. An additional round of calls in late 2013 led to the recruitment of another 22 fitness centres.
The Own Strength site plays a central role in the campaign. Alongside text, videos are being used more and more. In addition, there are four full annual programmes for four different training goals. The site has also been made more user-friendly by classifying information under headings such as training, diet, supplements, doping, health etc. This makes it easier for visitors to find extensive information about specific topics.
The site specifically targets athletes/cosmetic athletes in fitness centres. The site provides objective, clear and practical information about how to build up muscle mass cleanly and effectively, and about sensible ways of losing weight. There is also objective information about various types of listed prohibited substances and the side-effects, as well as an extensive presentation of the Own Strength campaign.
In 2013, a total of 51 factual news reports were posted on the site. They were written by three external experts (journalists or specific experts) from the fitness/body-building branch and by our own prevention officers. Two of them were press releases from the Dutch Food and Commodities Authority (NVWA) about Dexaprine and Iomax.
Own Strength uses videos more and more. A range of videos were produced in 2013, with some of them being posted on the website. Work is still continuing on some of them and they will appear on the site shortly.
Fitness courses & meetings
In 2013, the Own Strength campaign included about 20 guest lessons at a range of educational institutes and private fitness courses. The Own Strength water bottle was handed out during those lessons to trainee fitness instructors.
Fontys University of Applied Sciences (Applied Psychology) approached the Doping Authority to look at possible ways of working together. This has taken the shape of an assignment for 150 second-year students, asking them to devise an information campaign for us targeting the more responsible use of supplements in fitness centres. This anticipates our own campaign, which will be developed in 2014. It has led to more than 30 campaign proposals. A prize was awarded to the best three.
Clean Hunks are fitness athletes/body builders who have demonstrated that you can build up an impressive physique without dope. Another Clean Hunk joined the campaign in 2013 and so there are now a total of thirteen. They are all on the site, which includes background stories and photos. Others can follow their example and join the campaign.
Since 1997, Own Strength has had a regular column in the popular bodybuilding magazine Sport & Fitness Magazine. Acting under its own editorial responsibility, the Doping Authority provides objective information in each issue about prohibited substances and related matters. All the published articles are also posted on www.eigenkracht.nl so that the information remains available. Five articles were published in 2013.
The advertisement for men from the Own Strength campaign was published in all the 2013 issues of Sports & Fitness. Two new advertisements were produced and they are also available as banners.
Collaboration with the fitness branch
On 22 April 2012, the Doping Authority and Fit!vak signed an agreement to collaborate more and in more concrete ways to combat doping in fitness centres. The Doping Authority and Fit!vak meet every six months to discuss progress. A Doping Prevention chapter was added to the Fitnesstrainer A course book in 2013.
Book: Doping, the sober facts
The booklet Drug Information, doping. Hard facts about doping was published in 2000. Given the continued limited availability of the booklet - and the fact that it is outdated - work has started on a new improved edition. Extensive research and a lot of writing went into this new book between 2011 and 2013. It will be published in the spring of 2014.
In addition to the focus on athletes, there has been an increasing emphasis in recent years on a range of categories of athlete support staff. They can play an important role in both a positive and negative sense. Trainers and coaches in particular play a prominent role. Sports doctors and paramedics are also important.
Brochure for Support Staff
The brochure, entitled About support: how parents, trainers, coaches and other support staff can contribute to dope-free sports was distributed widely again at information meetings, training and refresher training and outreach events. A revised new edition was published in 2013 (with a print run of 7,500) in the 100% Dope Free house style.
Presentations and outreach events
We gave presentations at a range of courses and refresher courses, such as the Sports Physiotherapy Master's Course, two Sports Diet courses, courses organised by the KNWU for team managers, soigneurs and level 3 cycling coaches, Sports Psychology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, training for GPs in the Amsterdam Medical Centre (2x), a congress for teachers and coordinators at LOOT schools.
Meeting of sports associations
The annual meeting for the staff of sports associations (Together against doping!) was organised for the fourth time on 1 October in Nieuwegein. It was attended by more than 60 people from sports associations and Olympic Support Centres. The aim was to improve collaboration and, in that way, to educate as many elite athletes (or up-and-coming athletes) as possible before they undergo their first doping control. Five presentations were organised. The programme included: Herman Ram about national and international developments in anti-doping policies, Paul Kok (Hill+Knowlton Strategies) about the Doping Violations Communications Plan, Erik Duiven about Talents Only, Bart Coumans about the Doping Information App (Prevention App) and, finally, Rudi Kemna, a team manager with the Argos-Shimano cycling team (now known as Giant Shimano), who is an active proponent of clean cycling.
ANP news releases make up an important part of the topical information on the corporate site. They are posted immediately after release. A total of 714 ANP news releases were published on the site in 2013 (after correction for revised releases). We contributed eighteen releases of our own to the site in 2013.
In addition to current news about doping, the site contains general information about the prohibited list, about the campaigns being conducted by the Doping Authority and about our own organisation. Athletes can turn to a separate service section to apply for exemptions, and there is a section where elite athletes can submit whereabouts information. The site also houses the Dutch dietary supplement database.
Doping E-mail Line
The Doping Infoline is the front office of the Doping Authority. It is staffed alternately by four operators. All questions are processed within one working day and recorded anonymously in a database.
In 2013, the total number of e-mails was 1045, which compares with the total of 995 e-mails and phone calls in 2012. This is an increase of 5%. See the table for all the figures.
In 2013, the Doping Authority was approached on more than 500 occasions by the media, both for information and comments about current events and for answers to in-depth questions not related to topical issues. The CEO of the Doping Authority acts as spokesman. In his absence, or if specific issues are involved, other members of staff of the Doping Authority act as spokespersons on occasion.
Although the media looked at the very wide range of issues in 2013, there was often a direct or indirect link with the case of the American cyclist Lance Armstrong during the first six months of the year. During the same period, there was also considerable interest in the work of the Anti-Doping Approach Commission, which was looking into the doping culture in cycling, and Dutch cycling in particular. There was also media interest in the admissions made by the Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen and in the Doping Authority's involvement in this investigation. In the context of the extensive media reporting on doping issues in cycling, the Doping Authority was also invited to discuss this issue on a TV programme, De Avondetappe.
As well as the focus on cycling, the Dutch press was also very interested in the accusations made in a range of media against the Dutch athlete Adrienne Herzog.
The annual press conference was organised on 21 November in Nieuwegein and it was attended by a record number of fifteen journalists. Bauke Mollema was also present, as the 12th 100% Dope Free ambassador, to answer questions from the press. The 100% Dope Free video featuring Bauke was shown. Another important topic of discussion was the imminent revision of the World Anti-Doping Code.
Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUE committee)
Since 2012, there have been hardly any changes in the regulations relating to therapeutic use exemptions.
Ultimately, exemptions were granted in 89 cases. Requests were not granted in four cases.
|Refused||48 (14.7%)||12 (7.9%)||8 (6.7%)||1 (1.2%)||4 (4.3%)|
Most exemptions in 2013 related, as in 2011 and 2012, to the use of methylphenidate, although the percentage was quite a lot higher. In previous years, it was about 35%; in 2013, it increased to 52.8%. No explanation is available for this sharp rise.
Other medications for which frequent exemptions were granted were prednisone (10%, a fall by comparison with years) and insulin (9%).
The applications came from a total of 32 different sports associations, an increase by comparison with 2012.
For the first time, the KNWU (cycling) was not the association accounting for most applications. The percentage of applications from this association was 9% in 2013 (2012: 21%) and so the KNWU was overtaken by the KNZB (swimming), which accounted for 10% of the applications.