Controls in practice
In 2016, work continued on the implementation of the doping control policy, which was drawn up in close partnership with NOC*NSF in 2007. The emphasis of the doping controls is on the very top levels of Dutch sports. In addition, the Doping Authority was able to conduct more occasional/targeted controls for specific individuals and/or groups 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 registered testing pools, are required to report some of their daily activities to the Doping Authority or the international federation.
In view of the increasing number of doping controls to be conducted in 2017 and 2018, the Doping Authority trained new doping control officials (DCOs) in 2016 after the completion of an extensive selection procedure. A total of 11 new doping control officials received training in two training rounds. Some of them also received accreditation in 2016. As a result, the total number of doping control officials available for deployment was 19 at year-end 2016.
Intelligence & Investigations is housed with the Enforcement & Investigations department. Doping Control and Intelligence & Investigations have been merged in order to improve collaboration, enhance exchanges of information, and further the efficiency of operations. 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.
Doping controls are the main tool at our disposal for investigating doping violations but they are also important in terms of prevention. This chapter reports on the number of doping violations identified on the basis of doping controls and on the nature of those violations. However, it is not known how many athletes refrain from doping or stop in response to the doping control programme.
Registered Testing Pool (RTP)
Pursuant to the elaboration of the amended World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the associated International Standards, the Doping Authority established a new Registered Testing Pool (RTP). Athletes in the RTP of the Doping Authority 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 and attend an information meeting organised by the Doping Authority.
There were 13 sports associations with athletes in the RTP in 2016. That is fewer than in 2015 (14 sports associations). The number of athletes in the RTP was slightly lower than in 2015: 317 athletes at the beginning of 2016 as opposed to 331 athletes at the beginning of 2015. Once again in 2016, athletes were only required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation: either the Doping Authority or the international federation. To consult whereabouts information from international federations about Dutch athletes, the Doping Authority has reading privileges for the global administration and management system ADAMS. That makes it possible for the Doping Authority to view whereabouts information about Dutch athletes that is not supplied directly to the Doping Authority. In this way, the Doping Authority can rest assured that the information obtained through this channel is up-to-date.
In 2016, as in previous years, the Doping Authority also drew extensively 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. The Whereabouts App was brought into line in 2016 with the ongoing developments in the different smartphone operating systems and the associated safety standards.
Controls conducted - general
The Doping Authority conducted two types of doping control for Dutch sports in 2016: 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 who were present in the Netherlands. They were sometimes conducted on behalf of other ADOs.
The national programme – underlying principles
As in previous years, the Ministry of Sport and NOC*NSF made funding available in 2016 for the implementation of the national control programme on behalf of the Dutch sports associations. In addition, some of the control budget for 2015 (5%) was passed on to 2016. This reallocation was welcome in 2016, partly in view of the large number of Dutch athletes who participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The total available budget meant that a national programme of slightly more than 1,800 controls was possible in 2016. In accordance with the policy agreed upon with NOC*NSF, approximately 600 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, the Doping Authority spread the other controls amounting approximately to 1200 across the sports associations. A mathematical distribution model based 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 2016, 2,061 controls were conducted as part of the national control programme. The overwhelming majority (1,817) were urine controls. There were also 244 blood controls in 2016, for example in the context of the Athlete Biological Passport. This was a substantial increase by comparison with 2015 (325%).
The 2,061 doping controls conducted as part of the national control programme covered 31 Olympic sports and 18 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 91:9. 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 57%. Relative to 2015, this was a significant increase (46.8% in 2015) which can be attributed in part to the integration of Intelligence & Investigations in the Enforcement & Investigations department. That step made it possible to conduct target controls more frequently.
Of the 2,061 doping controls (blood and urine) conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,101 involved men (53.4%) and 960 women (46.6%).
Doping controls by third parties
The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) have financed an additional doping control programme alongside the national programme for Dutch competitions. In addition, NOC*NSF commissioned additional doping controls for athletes who qualified for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in so far as these athletes had not yet been included in the RTP of the Doping Authority.
Various Dutch associations and sports organisations have purchased additional controls from the Doping Authority for international events in the Netherlands. A total of 727 doping controls were conducted on the basis of assignments from third parties. That is an increase of 7% by comparison with 2015.
The majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (84.3%). Due to the relatively large number of additional out-of-competition doping controls for NOC*NSF, this percentage is lower than in 2015. The doping controls for third parties involved 459 men and 268 women.
Doping controls - total
The controls for the national control programme and the controls for third parties together make up the total doping control programme in 2016. A total of 2,788 doping controls were conducted.
|Doping controls conducted by the Doping Authority||Urine||Blood||Total|
|Doping controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch national programme)||1,817||244||2,061|
|Doping controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations||704||23||727|
|Total conducted by the Doping Authority||2,521||267||2,788|
|Number of doping controls||2016||2015|
|On behalf of third parties||727||679|
Total number of doping controls: the top five
The total number of 2,788 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations represents an increase of 15.4% by comparison with 2015, when there were 2,416 doping controls.
|Sport||National Programme (Netherlands)||Conducted for third parties||Total conducted|
|Floorball and unihockey||4||0||4||0||0||0||4||0||4|
|Baseball and softball||37||0||37||12||0||12||49||0||49|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||10||0||10||0||0||0||10||0||10|
|Eastern martial arts||3||0||3||12||4||16||15||4||19|
|Tug of war||0||0||0||5||0||5||5||0||5|
|Sport||In competition||Out of competition|
|Floorball and unihockey||4||0||4||0|
|Baseball and softball||40||0||40||9||0||9|
|Indoor and outdoor bowls||0||0||0||0|
|Mountaineering and climbing||8||0||8||2||0||2|
|Eastern martial arts||6||0||6||9||4||13|
|Tug of war||5||0||5||0|
Whereabouts filing failures
A total of 29 whereabouts filing failures were recorded in 2016. Of those failures, 23 are definitive and, as this annual report was being drafted, there were procedures ongoing relating to six whereabouts filing failures. 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 adequate whereabouts information correctly and in good time). The number of whereabouts failures increased in 2016 by comparison with 2015 (when there were 24 cases). In 2016, six athletes were found to have two whereabouts filing failures in a twelve-month period. No athletes were found to have made a third whereabouts filing failure in a period of twelve months.
The leading numbers of definitive whereabouts failures were accounted for by the Athletics Union, the Swimming Association, the Gymnastics Union, the Judo Association and the Cycling Union. It should be pointed out that associations with a large number of athletes in the Registered Testing Pool are more likely to have athletes who fail to meet whereabouts obligations. In 2016, the Athletics Union and the Swimming Association were the organisations with most whereabouts filing failures; the organisation at the top of this list in 2015 was the Cycling Union.
Doping controls that did not take place
In addition to the controls that did not take place due to a missed test, 93 planned doping controls failed to take place in 2016 for other reasons:
- athletes/teams were absent from events and competitions and central training sessions which they were expected to attend;
- the doping control official went to a training session or competition, and it then emerged that the training session or competition had been cancelled or moved;
- a doping control official (DCO) visited an address that had been reported and the athlete proved to be absent during the control window or was not/no longer resident at the address (in the case of doping controls for which the athlete in question was not required to supply whereabouts information).
These included both out-of-competition and in-competition controls. When doping controls were not conducted, efforts were made to find an appropriate moment as quickly as possible thereafter to conduct the control in question or to schedule a comparable event.
On the basis of a risk analysis, the relevant standards of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) for sports and sports disciplines include a specific calculation for the minimum percentages required for additional laboratory analyses. The Technical Document Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA) 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.
The analyses relate to, among other things, erythropoietin-like substances and growth hormones. The minimum number of specific additional analyses is expressed as a percentage of the number of doping controls conducted in a sport (percentage of additional analyses in addition to the standard analysis package). The mandatory TDSSA was evaluated in 2016 and there was more fine-tuning of the required percentages. The sport-specific analyses in 2016 took the planned changes that will come into effect in 2017 into account to some extent. In part as a result, the number of additional sport-specific analyses was significantly higher than in 2015.
In 2016, the analyses of 47% of the 2,061 controls in the national programme checked the urine and/or blood samples for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). This is a substantial increase by comparison with 2015 (34%). The ESA analyses were made in a range of relevant branches of sport.
Numbers of ESA analyses in the national control programme: the top five
The urine and/or blood samples collected in 39% of 2,061 controls were also analysed for the presence of human growth hormone (GH) or Growth Hormone Releasing Factors (GHRFs). This was done for a range of branches of sport.
Numbers of GH-GHRF analyses in the national control programme: the top five
In addition (as in 2015), various samples were also analysed for insulin and/or testosterone. Furthermore, large numbers of blood samples were taken to check for growth hormone, ESAs and Haemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers (HBOCs). In 2016, some of the urine samples were stored to allow for the possibility of repeat analyses at some time in the future.
Unannounced doping controls
The total percentage of out-of-competition doping controls increased significantly by comparison with 2015 to 46%. This increase was mainly due to the increased number of out-of-competition doping controls in the context of the national control programme and the additional programme of NOC*NSF, all of which was conducted out of competition. Almost all doping controls were conducted without prior warning for 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. Target controls took place throughout the sports spectrum, with the emphasis being on a few specific sports and individuals, and controls also being conducted on occasion at the level just below the very top. The Intelligence & Investigations chapter contains more information about this area.
Athlete Biological Passport
The Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was launched as a project and it is now an integral part of the Doping Authority's national doping control programme. In this project, several blood samples are taken from selected athletes from a range of sports for the purposes of establishing longitudinal profiles. The number of controls for which the results were included in the ABP were increased in the national programme in 2016. Moreover, the test frequency was raised when that was needed to established the desired profile. A total of 152 blood samples were collected for the purposes of the Athlete Biological Passport. These blood controls were conducted in the following sports: athletics, skating, triathlon, cycling and swimming. The number of ABP controls more than doubled by comparison with 2015, when 67 samples were taken.
Mobile doping control station
The Doping Authority has a mobile doping control station at its disposal with facilities for collecting blood samples. It can be used at locations where it is difficult to establish a permanent doping control station or where doping control stations do not comply with the relevant criteria. The mobile doping control station was used in 2016 for, among other sports, outdoor sports such as cycling and equestrian sports, and for climbing and mountaineering.
In 2016, 88 files with adverse (analytical and non-analytical) findings were registered with the Doping Authority. In 86 cases, the adverse findings related to A urine samples; the finding was non-analytical in two cases. The incidence of adverse findings (including non-analytical findings) – 88 in 2,788 controls – was 3.2%. Adverse findings accounted for 3.5% of the urine controls conducted (excluding the blood controls). The first percentage was 2.3% lower than in 2015 (5.5%), primarily because of a decline in the number of files for which specific follow-up investigations were required (see below).
Files for which specific follow-up investigations were required
Of the 86 registered files with adverse findings for the A urine samples, 61 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 was 43% less than in 2015 (107 files). This decrease is a result of the introduction of the use of ADAMS by the Doping Authority in 2016 and the access to global longitudinal information about athletes, as well as the introduction of the steroids passport.
Fifty cases involved a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio higher than 4. There were also eleven cases of an adverse passport finding. In all these cases, the Doping Authority initiated the isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis (IRMS) and/or additional doping controls in 2016. The follow-up investigations showed that the atypical result was not attributable to exogenous factors 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 disciplinary committee of the sports association in question.
In four 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 Registered Testing Pool). These files were therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question.
|Bowling||hydrochlorothiazide||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Darts||atenolol||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Korfball||prednisone and prednisolone||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Power lifting||clomiphene/clomiphene metabolite||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
|Cycling||metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Swimming||metabolite of methylphenidate||1||therapeutic use exemption present, file closed|
|Swimming||metabolites of tamoxifen||1||therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not TP), file closed|
Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List
Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the 2016 WADA Prohibited List, a prohibited substance (or metabolite of such a substance), a high T/E ratio, or an atypical steroid profile was found a total of 110 times in the 86 adverse A urine samples referred to above.
One urine sample contained seven prohibited substances and/or metabolites; one sample contained five prohibited substances and/or metabolites, two samples contained three prohibited substances and/or metabolites and ten samples contained two prohibited substances and/or metabolites.
There were findings in the category of anabolic substances in 79 of the 110 cases. On six occasions, these were glucocorticosteroids, and hormone and metabolic modulators and/or metabolites were found on seven occasions. Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances and/or metabolites were found twice. The numbers in the last three categories were higher than in 2015.
The percentage in the category of anabolic substances fell by comparison with 2015 by approximately 29%. This fall was attributable to the lower number of urine samples with a T/E ratio exceeding 4 and/or with an atypical steroid profile. However, the number of substances found in this category more than tripled by comparison with 2015.
|(T/E ratio >4)||(103)||(50)|
|(Atypical steroid profile)||(4)||(11)|
|Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances||0||2|
|Hormone and metabolic modulators||1||7|
|Diuretics / masking substances||8||5|
Cases resulting in proceedings
In two cases in 2016, the Doping Authority made a proposal regarding a sanction to the athletes in question before initiating proceedings with the sports associations in question. Both athletes accepted the proposal. In 2016, the Doping Authority initiated proceedings with sports associations in 14 cases (2015: 17) in ten different sports because of possible violations of the regulations of the sports association involved. A total of 14 different people were involved (13 men and 1 woman). Power lifting accounted for the highest number of cases (three).
In addition, the Doping Authority handled three violations noted by NADO Flanders and one violation noted by the French NADO (AFLD), bringing the total number of disciplinary procedures in which the Doping Authority was involved to 20. 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 0.8% (16 cases subject to national anti-doping regulations resulting from 2,061 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme). This percentage is below the stated target for 2016 of a maximum of 1% positive cases in Dutch athletes.
|Sport||Finding/substance||Number||Action taken by sports organisation|
|Athletics||metabolites of stanozolol||1||sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: four-year suspension|
|Athletics||human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)||1||doping control and result management by NADO Flanders|
|Athletics||prednisone and prednisolone||1||result management by IF|
|Basketball||hydrochlorothiazide||1||a therapeutic use exemption was granted after proceedings were initiated; the sports association was requested to close the file|
|Basketball||metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)||1||proceedings instituted with sports association|
|Billiard sports||hydrochlorothiazide/ metabolites of hydrochlorothiazide||1||a therapeutic use exemption was granted after proceedings were initiated; the sports association was requested to close the file|
|Bodybuilding||Clenbuterol, oxandrolone/metabolites of oxandrolone, metabolite of tamoxifen||1||doping control and result management by NADO Flanders|
|Bowling||methyleendioxymetamphetamine/ metabolites of methyleendioxymetamphetamine (MDMA)||1||ISR Appeals Committee: two-year suspension|
|Darts||evasion||1||proceedings instituted with sports association|
|Baseball||prednisone and prednisolone||1||ISR disciplinary committee: two-year suspension|
|Ice hockey||metabolite of drostanolone||1||result management by Doping Authority|
|Ice hockey||19-norandrosterone, 19-nore!!tiocholanolone||1||doping control and result management by NADO Flanders|
|Korfball||cocaine/metabolites of cocaine||1||proceedings instituted with sports association|
|Power lifting||metabolite of stanozolol||1||ISR Appeals Committee: four-year suspension|
|Power lifting||metabolite of stanozolol||1||ISR disciplinary committee: four-year suspension|
|Power lifting||metabolite of stanozolol||1||ISR Appeals Committee: four-year suspension|
|Skating||recombinant human erythropoetin||1||proceedings instituted with sports association|
|Cycling||metabolite of methylphenidate||1||doping control and result management by AFLD|
|Cycling||administration||1||ISR disciplinary committee: lifetime ban|
|Swimming||19-norethiocholanolone, nandrolone, boldenone (and metabolites), metabolite of stanozolol, metabolites of tamoxifen||1||sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: exclusion: 3 years and 3 months|