You are viewing the tenth Annual Report from the Anti-Doping Authority of the Netherlands. This is the fifth Annual Report to be published exclusively in digital form.

The revised World Anti-Doping Code came into effect in 2015, and had all sorts of consequences for the work of the Doping Authority. New, stricter standards now apply to many of our activities, and in particular to our prevention programmes and our doping control programmes. The new Code-compliant rules and procedures came into force on 1 January 2015 at all Dutch elite sports associations, and all the doping controls we conducted in 2015, as well as the subsequent procedures, were based on those new regulations. The stricter penalty regime led to a number of four-year suspensions.

The 'Racing for clean sport' project was completed in 2015. It was conducted in close collaboration with the NOC*NSF and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union and with financial support from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and it included a range of activities (prevention and control) targeting a range of people and organisations involved in cycling. The project was also intended as a pioneering project that other sports associations could draw on to make improvements in their anti-doping policies. A follow-up project began in 2015: 'Together for clean sport”. It involves collaboration with NOC*NSF, the Dutch Athletics Union, the Royal Dutch Football Association, the Royal Dutch Billiards Federation and Fit!Vak.

Given the ongoing intensive contacts with the press throughout 2015, it would seem fair to conclude that the high profile of the Doping Authority is a fact of life that does not depend on the seriousness or extent of current doping cases. It is not possible to respond to all requests for information and comments, and so a selective approach is unavoidable. Nevertheless, the aim is to provide the fastest and most complete possible service for the principal media (national newspapers, radio and television). The numerous contacts with the media resulted in an extremely large number of publications and broadcasts that included the Doping Authority's views and the information we provided.

The one-off additional project subsidy of € 200,000 that we received for 2013 was transformed with effect from 2014 into a structural component of our institutional subsidy. That made it possible to give permanent contracts to some of the employees who had been working on structural tasks on the basis of temporary contracts. Partly thanks to this additional funding, we are now better able to bring more (and complex) cases to a successful conclusion, even though the increasing complexity of our work (in both the legal and scientific senses) presents us with many challenges.

On the basis of agreements made in the distant past, the urine controls conducted by the Doping Authority are not financed using subsidies from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport but from lottery funding. In 2013, a new four-year lottery spending plan came into effect that included an increase in the contribution for the Doping Authority. However, that contribution was cut again by 5% in 2014. On the basis of the available financial resources, the target for 2014 was cut to 1,710 doping controls, and the same target was adopted for 2015. Incidentally, there will be another cut in 2016 (of 3.5%).

For several reasons, achieving the target of 1,710 controls became more difficult during the course of 2015. The unexpected death of our colleague Jan Kroes was not the least of those reasons. Jan Kroes was one of our most experienced colleagues, both as a doping control official (DCO) and as a member of the office staff in the Enforcement & Investigation department. His sudden loss was a hard blow for his colleagues, both emotionally and practically. The fact that our clients noticed little or nothing of the impact of his loss is entirely due to the enormous commitment of his colleagues, who did their utmost to bring the year to a satisfactory conclusion. In the end, 1,737 doping controls were carried out under the National Programme.

At the end of 2015, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport submitted the Dutch Anti-Doping Policy Implementation Bill (Wuab) to the Council of State for their assessment. The bill, which (at the time of writing) is expected to go into effect in 2017, will undoubtedly have a major impact on the work of the Doping Authority. The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport reported to the Dutch Lower House that this legislation will lead to the establishment of the Doping Authority as an independent governing body (zbo), and that the current duties of the present Doping Authority will be housed with that body.

The transfer of the duties, personnel and resources of the current authority to the body will require thorough preparation since the requirements for a body of this kind (as a semi-government body) differ from those that apply to the present foundation. A review was conducted in 2015 of all issues (formal, procedural, labour-law and practical) that need to be examined and regulated, but the actual establishment of the body had to be delayed because it was not yet possible to submit the bill to parliament in late 2015.

Despite the ongoing struggle to balance the responsibilities of the organisation and the available resources, we believe that, once again in 2015, we made an important contribution to the fight against doping in sport. We hope you will agree with us after reading this Annual Report 2015.