Controls in practice
Since 1 January 2015, the Intelligence & Investigations process has been part of the duties of the Enforcement & Investigation Department. Controls and Intelligence & Investigations were merged in order to improve coordination and the exchange of information, and therefore to make operations more effective. There are consultations every two weeks about Cases under Investigation between the head of the department, the doping control officials account manager/team leader and the intelligence officer. These meetings look at matters such as progress and current developments in ongoing investigations. Specific agreements are also made about investigation strategies.
In 2015, 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.
Furthermore, 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. Once again, the number of follow-up investigations and specific, supplementary analyses increased further. Considerable 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. Our colleague Jan Kroes passed away in 2015, and the Doping Authority also took leave of three other Doping Control Officials (DCOs). This meant that the number of potentially active doping control officials fell to 14 at year-end 2015. Despite the further reduction in DCO capacity, the target for the national doping control programme was achieved.
National testing pool (NTP)
Pursuant to the elaboration of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the associated International Standards, the Doping Authority established a national testing pool (NTP). 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 2015, 14 sports associations had athletes in the NTP. This was more than in 2014.
The number of athletes in the NTP was actually lower than in 2014: 331 athletes at the beginning of 2015 as opposed to 342 athletes at the beginning of 2014. Once again in 2015, athletes were only required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation: either the international federation or the Doping Authority. The Doping Authority was given reading access to information about Dutch athletes in the ADAMS global whereabouts system. As a result, the Doping Authority can now view whereabouts information about Dutch athletes, helping to ensure that the information available to the Doping Authority is up-to-date.
In 2015, as in previous years, the Doping Authority also drew on information from external sources such as the websites of national and international federations, Twitter and Facebook. The whereabouts website developed by the Doping Authority (and the associated Whereabouts App for smartphones) 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 2015: 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 the NOC*NSF made funding available in 2015 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 slightly more than 1,700 controls was possible in 2015. Approximately 500 of these controls were earmarked for target controls, follow-up investigations, and for doping controls pursuant to records and compliance with official limits. The Doping Authority spread the other 1,200 controls over the sports federations. A mathematical distribution model based in part on international guidelines and including 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 2015, 1,737 controls were conducted as part of the national control programme. The overwhelming majority (1,663) were urine controls. There were also 75 blood controls in 2015, for example in the context of an 'Athlete Biological Passport' project established previously (see also the relevant section later in this report).
The 1,737 doping controls conducted as part of the national control programme covered 30 Olympic sports and 18 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 89:11.
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 Control Programme: the top five
The percentage of out-of-competition controls (blood and urine) in the national programme was 46.8%. Relative to 2014, the percentage of out-of-competition doping controls was virtually the same (46.5% in 2014).
Of the 1,737 doping controls (blood and urine) conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,001 involved men (57.7%) and 736 women (42.3%). The percentage of women undergoing controls increased slightly compared with 2014, reflecting the increase in the proportion of women performing well in Dutch elite sports.
Doping controls for third parties
The Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Federation (KNLTB), the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) have an additional doping control programme in addition to the national programme for Dutch competitions.
Various Dutch associations and sports organisations 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 679 doping controls were conducted, 6% less than in 2014. The majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (96.5%). 440 men and 238 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 2015. A total of 2,416 doping controls were carried out.
|Doping controls conducted by the Doping Authority|
|Doping controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch national programme)||1,662||75||1,737|
|Urine controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations||670||9||679|
|Total conducted by the Doping Authority||2,332||84||2,416|
|Number of doping controls||2015||2014|
|On behalf of third parties||679||719|
Total number of doping controls: the top five
The total number of 2,416 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations was slightly lower than in 2014, when there were 2,483 doping controls.
|Sport||National Program||Conducted for third parties||Total conducted|
|Floorball and unihockey||5||0||5||0||0||0||5||0||5|
|Baseball and softball||19||0||19||2||0||2||21||0||21|
|Mounteneering and climbing||12||0||12||0||0||0||12||0||12|
|Eastern martial arts||7||0||7||1||0||1||8||0||8|
|Sport||In competition||Out of competition|
|Floorball and unihockey||0||0||0||5||0||5|
|Baseball and softball||12||0||12||9||0||9|
|Mounteneering and climbing||12||0||12||0||0||0|
|Eastern martial arts||0||0||0||8||0||8|
Doping controls that did not take place
Doping controls were not completed in 166 cases in 2015:
- 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 a stated address and the athlete was not present during the control period, or was not/no longer resident at that address (in the cases of doping controls without whereabouts information).
These included both out-of-competition and in-competition controls. When doping controls were not conducted, attempts were made as soon as possible after the failed attempt to control the athlete in question or to make arrangements for a comparable event.
In addition, in 2015, a total of 20 definitive whereabouts failures were recorded and, as this annual report went to press, another four whereabouts failures were still 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) or Filing failures (the failure to supply whereabouts information correctly and in good time).
The number of whereabouts failures fell again in 2015 by comparison with the previous year (34 cases in 2014). There were no athletes in 2015 involved in a second or third whereabouts failure in a twelve-month period (this period used to be 18 months).
Most whereabouts failures were accounted for by members of the Cycling Union, the Athletics Union, the Rowing Association and the Swimming Association. 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 2015, the Cycling Union accounted for most whereabouts failures; the Athletics Union and the Swimming Association led this list in 2014.
Alongside the introduction of the revised World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) with effect from 1 January 2015, WADA also introduced a new 'Technical Document': the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TD2014SSA). The TD2014SSA includes, as a part of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations, binding provisions that apply to National Anti-Doping Organisations, including the Doping Authority.
On the basis of a risk analysis, the TD2014SSA sets out a specific distribution for all sports disciplines relating to the required number of additional laboratory analyses for erythropoietin-like substances and growth hormones. That number is stated as a percentage of the number of doping controls conducted in a sports discipline for which the specific supplementary analyses are required (in addition to the standard set of analyses).
In 2015, 34% of the urine controls and/or blood samples collected in the 1,737 controls for the national programme were also analysed for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). This percentage was lower than in 2014 (41%). The ESA analyses were conducted in different sports, with the leading sports being cycling, skating, athletics and swimming.
The urine and/or blood samples collected in 18% of 1,737 controls were analysed for the presence of human growth hormone (GH) or Growth Hormone Releasing Factors (GHRFs). The samples came from a range of sports, with the leading sports in absolute numbers being football, cycling, athletics and skating.
In addition (as in 2014), various samples were also analysed for insulin.
In 2015, some of the urine samples were stored to allow for the possibility of repeated analyses at some time in the future.
Unannounced doping controls
The total percentage out-of-competition doping controls was the same as in 2014: 35% (this relatively low percentage is attributable to the large number of in-competition controls conducted for third parties).
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 initiative for the control resides with the athlete or the athlete's association.
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 individuals, with controls also being conducted on occasion at the level just below the very top. See below under Intelligence & Investigations.
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 are taken from selected athletes from a range of sports for the purposes of establishing longitudinal profiles. This approach was pursued further as part of the national programme in 2015 and the number of athletes was increased. A total of 67 blood samples were 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
During the course of 2014, demand for the mobile station continued to increase and it was decided to purchase a more spacious station where it will also be possible to take blood samples. In 2015, the mobile doping control station went into operation and it 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.
In 2015, 133 files with adverse (analytical and non-analytical) findings were registered with the Doping Authority. In 129 cases, the adverse findings related to A urine samples; four findings were non-analytical.
The adverse findings (including the non-analytical findings) - 133 files - accounted for 5.5% of the 2,416 doping controls conducted. The percentage is 0.2% higher than the percentage for 2014 (5.3%).
If only the urine controls are taken into consideration, the percentage of adverse findings was 5.7% (2014: 5.5%).
Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required
Of the 129 files with adverse findings for the A urine samples, 107 involved atypical findings for which specific follow-up investigations were required with the aim of determining whether there had been a possible doping infringement. This is 83% of the adverse findings for the A samples.
103 cases involved a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio exceeding 4. There was also an anomalous steroid profile in 4 cases. In virtually all these cases, the Doping Authority requested isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) and/or additional doping controls in 2015. In two cases, the follow-up investigation was still in progress at the end of the year under review. The follow-up investigation established that the atypical result was not caused by exogenic factors in the other 105 cases and the Doping Authority therefore classified the results as non-adverse findings.
Files closed on the grounds of therapeutic use exemptions
In five 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 disciplinary committee of the sports association in question.
In one case, 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 athlete in question was not in the Doping Authority's National Testing Pool). This file was therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question either.
On one occasion, a substance was found that can be permitted or prohibited under the regulations depending upon the method of administration or the composition of the medicine in question; here, the administration method was permitted and the athlete in question had also reported use of the substance at the time of the doping control. The Doping Authority concluded that this result was also negative.
|Sport||Finding / substance||number||action taken|
|Billiards||methylfenidaat, metabolite of methylfenidaat||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Judo||methylfenidaat||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Judo||insuline||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Tennis||hydrochloorthiazide, metaboliet van hydrochloorthiazide, amiloride||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Cycling||Prednisolon, prednison||1||use complies with permitted method of administration, file closed|
|Cycling||methylfenidaat, metabolite of methylfenidaat||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Swimming||methylfenidaat, metabolite of methylfenidaat||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List
Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the 2015 WADA Prohibited List, a prohibited substance, a high T/E ratio or an atypical steroid profile was found a total of 143 times in the 129 anomalous A urine samples referred to above.
One urine sample contained six prohibited substances or metabolites of those substances, one sample contained three prohibited substances or metabolites, and seven samples contained two prohibited substances or metabolites.
In 112 of the 143 cases, there were findings in the category of anabolic substances. On thirteen occasions, these were stimulants and a cannabis metabolite was found on two occasions. The numbers in the last two categories were higher than in 2014.
The percentage in the category of anabolic substances was lower than in 2014 at approximately 7%. This fall was attributable to the lower number of urine samples with a T/E ratio exceeding 4 or with an atypical steroid profile.
(T/E ratio >4)
(Atypical steroid profile)
|121 (112) (3) (6)||112 (103) (4) (5)|
|Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances||0||0|
|Hormone and metabolic modulators||2||1|
|Diuretics / masking substances||1||8|
Cases resulting in proceedings
In 2015, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings in seventeen cases (2014:10) in ten different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association involved. A total of seventeen different people were involved (twelve men and five women). Power lifting accounted for the highest number of cases (three).
In three 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. The Doping Authority transferred result management in two of these cases to the relevant national anti-doping organisation (NADO) of the athlete's country of origin, and in one case to the relevant international federation.
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 1.0% (17 cases subject to national anti-doping regulations resulting from 1,737 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme). This percentage matches the target formulated for 2015 of a maximum of 1% infringements in Dutch sports.
|Sport||Finding / substance||number||action taken|
|Athletics||terbutaline||1||result management by NADO from where athlete originates|
|Car racing||prednisolon, prednison, bisoprolol, hydrochloorthiazide, metabolites of hydrochloorthiazide (2x)||1||result management by NADO from where athlete originates|
|Billiards||cocaine, metabolite of cocain||1|
|Boxing||metabolite of stanozolol||1||case reported to Dutch federation|
|Jiu jitsu||heptaminol||1||resultaat management by IF *|
|Judo||(attempted) lack of cooperation||1||case dismissed by Doping Authority|
|Powerlifting||metabolite of stanozolol||1|
|Powerlifting||(attempted) lack of cooperation||1|
|Eastern martial arts||methylhexanamine||1||athlete not associated with Dutch federation **|
|Rugby||metabolites of tibolon (2x)||1||result management by Doping Authority|
|Rugby||metabolite of cannabis||1||case reported to Dutch federation|
|Skiing||(attempted) lack of cooperation||1||case reported to Dutch federation|
|Football||metabolite of cannabis||1|
|Cycling||(attempted) lack of cooperation||1||**|
* Relates to a doping control in the Netherlands under international anti-doping rules with result management by the international federation
**Relates to a doping control in the Netherlands with result management by foreign NADO