Controls in practice
In 2014, 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. 2014 was an Olympic year, and so there was an intensification of the focus on those sports and athletes who participated 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, 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 also 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 for athletes in terms of submitting whereabouts information using a Dutch innovation, the Whereabouts app, was the first step leading to global standardisation and the Dutch app served as the basis for the ADAMS App launched globally by WADA. The app was awarded a prestigious ICT prize in 2014. 2014 was the first full year after the reorganisation for the Doping Control Officials (DCOs) in late 2013. The reorganisation led to a considerable reduction in the number of DCOs (-37%). Despite this reduction in DCO capacity, the Doping Authority was almost entirely successful in achieving its stated objective with respect to the national doping control programme.
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 2014, there were 12 sports associations with athletes in the NTP, the same number as in 2013. The number of athletes in the NTP was slightly down on 2013: 342 athletes in 2014 at the start of the year, as opposed to 394 athletes in 2013. Once again in 2014, 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 about Dutch athletes, helping to ensure that the information available to the Doping Authority is up-to-date.
In 2014, as in previous years, the Doping Authority also drew on information from external sources such as the 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 2014: controls in the context of the Dutch national programme, and doping controls on behalf and for the account of third parties, including Dutch 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 Health, Welfare and Sport and NOC*NSF made funding available in 2014 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 1,700 controls was possible in 2014. 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 1,200 controls among the sports associations. A mathematical distribution model which includes information such as sport-specific physiological characteristics, and international and national doping incidence statistics, is used to decide on this allocation.
The national programme – implementation
In 2014, 1,764 controls were conducted as part of the national control programme. The overwhelming majority (1,707) were urine controls. There were also 57 blood controls in 2014, for example in the context of an 'Athlete Biological Passport' project established last year (see also the relevant section later in this report). The 1,764 doping controls conducted as part of the national control programme covered 31 Olympic sports and 17 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 88:12. There were no doping controls in a number of non-Olympic sports that are less susceptible to doping, examples being mind sports.
Doping controls in the national programme: the top five
The percentage of out-of-competition controls (blood and urine) in the national programme was 46.5%. Relative to 2013, the percentage of out-of-competition doping controls was virtually the same (47% in 2013).
Of the 1,764 doping controls (blood and urine) conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,103 involved men (63%) and 661 women (37%).
Doping controls for third parties
The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), the Royal Netherlands Cycling Union (KNWU) 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 from the Doping Authority for international events in the Netherlands. On the basis of assignments from third parties, a total of 719 doping controls were conducted, an increase of 24% compared with 2013.
The majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (93%). 441 men and 278 women underwent these controls.
Doping controls - total
The controls for the national control programme and the controls for third parties together make up the entire doping control programme conducted in 2014. A total of 2,483 doping controls were carried out.
|Doping controls conducted by the Doping Authority|
|Doping controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch national programme)||1.707||57||1.764|
|Urine controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations||677||42||719|
|Total conducted by the Doping Authority||2.384||99||2.483|
|Number of doping controls||2014||2013|
|For third parties||719||579|
Total number of doping controls: the top five
The total number of 2,483 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations was almost the same as in 2013, when there were 2,490 doping controls.
|Sport||National Programme||Conducted for third parties||Total conducted|
|Floorball and unihockey||12||0||12||2||0||2||14||0||14|
|Baseball and softball||26||0||26||14||0||14||40||0||40|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||6||0||6||0||0||0||6||0||6|
|Eastern martial arts||15||0||15||0||0||0||15||0||15|
|Sport||In competition||Out of competition|
|Floorball and unihockey||10||0||10||4||0||4|
|Baseball and softball||34||0||34||6||0||6|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||6||0||6||0||0||0|
|Eastern martial arts||6||0||6||9||0||9|
Doping controls that did not take place
Doping controls were not completed in 83 cases in 2014:
- athletes/teams were absent from events and competitions and central training sessions which they were expected to attend.
- 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.
- a 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).
All these cases were out-of-competition controls.
When doping controls are prevented from taking place, attempts are made to conduct a control with the athlete in question as quickly as possible thereafter.
In addition, in 2014, a total of 34 definitive whereabouts failures were recorded and, as this annual report went to press, another two whereabouts failures were being processed. Whereabouts failures can be either Missed tests (when the athlete is not present at the stated location in the one hour time slot) and Filing failures (the failure to supply whereabouts information correctly and in good time).
The number of whereabouts failures was approximately half the number in 2013 (when there were 60 cases). In 2014, no athletes were involved in a third whereabouts failure in a period of 18 months.
The leading numbers of whereabouts failures were accounted for by the Athletics Union, the Skating Association and the Swimming Association in that order. 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 2014, the Athletics Union and the Swimming Association were the federations with the most whereabouts failures.
EPO and related substances
In 41% of cases, the urine samples for the national programme were also checked for EPO. This is a lot more than in 2013 (31%). The EPO analyses were conducted in different branches of sport, with most analyses targeting cycling, skating (in the run-up to the Winter Games in early 2014) and athletics. As in 2013, a range of samples were also analysed for somatropine, hexarelin, insulin and testosterone. Checks were also initiated for growth hormone and the analytical limitations were also removed in 2014. Samples from 2013 were analysed retrospectively, with negative results in all cases. In 2014, a range of urine samples were put into storage for a longer period of time so that they can be re-analysed in the future.
Unannounced doping controls
The total percentage of out-of-competition doping controls fell slightly in 2014 by comparison with 2013 (as a result of the increased number of in-competition controls for third parties) to 35%. Almost all doping controls were conducted without prior warning being given to the athlete ('no advance notice testing'). 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.
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 were conducted across the entire range of sports, with the emphasis on a number of specific sports in which occasional controls were conducted at the level below the absolute elite, for example in amateur football.
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. In this project, several blood samples were taken from selected athletes from a range of sports in 2013 for the purposes of establishing longitudinal profiles. This project was continued as part of the national programme in 2014, with a total of 52 blood samples being collected. 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 2014, the mobile doping control station was widely used at locations where it was difficult to establish a permanent doping control station or where doping control stations did not comply with the relevant criteria. The mobile station is used for, among other things, outdoor sports such as motorcycling, cycling, water sports, equestrian sports, and triathlon. During the course of 2014, demand for the mobile station continued to increase and it was decided to purchase an improved station where it will also be possible to take blood samples.
In 2014, 131 files with adverse (analytical and non-analytical) findings were registered with the Doping Authority. In 130 cases, the adverse findings related to A urine samples; the finding was non-analytical in one case.
The incidence of adverse findings (including non-analytical findings) - 131 in 2,483 controls - was 5.3%. With respect to the number of urine controls, this percentage is 5.5. The percentage is 1.7% higher than the percentage for 2013 (3.6%).
Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required
Of the 130 files with adverse findings for the A urine samples, 113 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 87% of the anomalous A samples.
110 cases involved a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio exceeding 4. There was also an anomalous steroid profile in 3 cases.
In virtually all these cases, the Doping Authority initiated the isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) and/or additional doping controls in 2014. The follow-up investigation failed to establish that the atypical result was caused by exogenic factors in any of these 113 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 two 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 therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question.
On three occasions, a substance was found that can be permitted or prohibited under the regulations depending upon the method of administration or the composition of the substance in question; 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.
|Gymnastics||methylphenidate, metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Judo||insulin||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Roller sports||morfin||1||finding complies with permitted use of codeine, file closed|
|Skating||methylphenidate, metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Triathlon||metabolite of budenoside||1||use complies with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Triathlon||clomifene||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Cycling||Prednisolon, prednisone||1||use complies with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Swimming||methylphenidate, metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
* A Dutch athlete who underwent a control in another country, with the result management of the case being transferred to the Doping Authority in 2014.
Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List
Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the WADA Prohibited list 2014, a substance and/or a high T/E ratio, or an atypical steroid profile, was found on 135 occasions in the 130 anomalous A samples referred to above.
Three urine samples contained metabolites of two prohibited substances and one sample contained metabolites of three prohibited substances.
In 121 of the 135 cases, there were findings in the category of anabolic substances. On five occasions, these were stimulants and, on one occasion, a metabolite of cannabis was found. This was, as in 2013, less than in the previous year.
The percentage in the anabolic substances category rose by 45% in 2014. This rise is largely accounted for by a considerably higher number of urine samples with a T/E ratio exceeding 4 or with an atypical steroid profile.
(Atypical steroid profile)
|Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances||2||0|
|Hormone and metabolic modulators||1||2|
|Diuretics / masking substances||1||1|
Cases resulting in proceedings
In 2014, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings in 10 cases in 6 different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association involved. Two findings related to the same defendant and were ultimately dealt with as a single infringement by the disciplinary committee. A total of nine different people were involved (six men and three women). Athletics accounted for the highest number of cases (four).
In one of the ten cases, the TUE committee granted a retrospective therapeutic use exemption for the use of the substance found. The relevant sports association was advised that, from the point of view of the Doping Authority, there were no longer any grounds for proceeding with this case.
In one case, 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 pursuant to controls conducted on Dutch territory by the Doping Authority as part of the national programme was 0.5% (8 cases subject to national anti-doping regulations resulting from 1,764 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme). This percentage is below the stated target for 2014 of a maximum of 1% positive cases in Dutch athletes.
|Athletics||T/E ratio >4, GC/C/IRMS results are in accordance with the presence of exogenic steroids||1|
|Athletics||GC/C/IRMS results are in accordance with the presence of exogenic steroids||1|
|Athletics||T/E ratio >4, GC/C/IRMS results are in accordance with the presence of exogenic steroids||1|
|Car racing||hydrochlorothiazide, metabolites of hydrochlorothiazide||1|
|Strength sports||metabolite of nandrolone or a nandrolone prohormone, metabolite of stanozolol, GC/C/IRMS results are in accordance with the presence of exogenic steroids||1|
|Roller sports||metabolite of cannabis||1|