Implementation of 2015 Code
In November 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) adopted the 2015 version of the World Anti-Doping Code. This Code came into effect on 1 January 2015. The past year has therefore been dominated by the implementation of the revised Code. Given the fact that the Code has been amended fundamentally in a number of respects, an entirely new set of Dutch doping regulations (NDR) was drafted. These regulations incorporate all the mandatory elements from the 2015 Code. The annexes accompanying the regulations have also been completely revised.
After the regulations had been finalised, two processes were initiated.
The first involved submitting the regulations to WADA, which then appraised them to see whether they were fully in line with the Code. This process resulted in regulations that were fully approved by WADA and that will serve as the basis for the implementation of the global anti-doping policy in the Netherlands.
The second process was the adoption by the elite sports associations and the ISR of the regulations. This second process involves close collaboration with NOC*NSF. At year-end 2014, the ISR and all the associations, with one exception, had adopted the national doping regulations.
Contributions to doping cases
In accordance with the national doping regulations, the Doping Authority is involved with disciplinary proceedings in doping cases. One of the Doping Authority's activities in this area involves the submission of arguments. The competence of the Doping Authority with respect to stating arguments of this kind is rooted in the doping regulations adopted by all the elite sports associations, as well as the ISR.
They reflect the position of the Doping Authority in specific cases with respect to the relevant provisions of the NDR, the International Standards, the file, and the defence arguments. By stating arguments, the Doping Authority can provide disciplinary committees with a picture of the legal context, discuss crucial provisions from the doping regulations and/or International Standards, and respond to the defence of the athlete or other persons.
In addition, the doping authority was closely involved in 2014 with legal preparations for, and procedures relating to, a range of foreign/international disciplinary procedures. That involvement took many shapes and it consisted of, among other things, providing foreign colleagues with legal advice, collecting documentation for proceedings involving non-Dutch disciplinary bodies, and handing over documentation to the appropriate disciplinary bodies.
WADA monitors the global implementation and application of, and compliance with, the World Anti-Doping Code; the Doping Authority does the same with respect to the NDR. In that respect, the Doping Authority receives the decisions of disciplinary bodies in doping cases and can, when a decision is not in line with the NDR, submit an appeal.
If the Doping Authority concludes that an appeal decision in a doping case has failed to apply the NDR correctly, it may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (Switzerland). The CAS is the resort of final appeal for doping cases in sport. The Doping Authority appealed to the CAS once in 2014. No decision has yet been given. No other party appealed to the CAS in 2014 against a decision by a Dutch disciplinary body.
The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) is a commission established by the international cycling union UCI to investigate doping issues in cycling and the role played by the UCI in that respect. The Doping Authority has worked closely with the CIRC, for example in the context of the investigation to determine whether certain people at the UCI played a role in concealing doping by Lance Armstrong.
Preparations for doping legislation
Preparations for specific doping legislation in our country switched to the fast track in 2014. On 2 July, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport informed the House that she would inform the House in writing of her intentions with respect to that legislation, and the letter in question was sent to the House on 1 December. In the interim, there were close consultations with the Doping Authority. During the course of those consultations, it became clear that a number of elements of the revised code would have to be included in the planned legislation and that the Doping Authority itself will be transformed into an independent administrative body (in Dutch: a Zelfstandig Bestuursorgaan). At the end of the year, a Project Group and a Steering Group were established to supervise the legislative process. The Doping Authority is represented in both groups. The intention is to send the bill to the House by the end of August 2015 at the latest.