Pursuant to Article 20 of the Dutch National Doping Regulations, the Doping Authority investigates possible doping violations both in the Netherlands and other countries. Intelligence & Investigations is one of the resources used for this purpose. The Doping Authority has an Intelligence Officer. The work of the Intelligence Officer includes collating information in the context of investigations of doping violations, drafting reports, conducting interviews and taking statements, organising and processing confidential data in an automated system, and the development of procedures and protocols.
The current World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) refer explicitly to Intelligence & Investigations as a means of tackling the problem of doping. To establish a clearer picture of the extent of that problem and to make sound decisions about the approach to, and investigation of, doping violations, the Doping Authority is following the example of many investigation services by working with a more intelligence-based approach.
Adopting an intelligence-based approach allows the Doping Authority to optimise the implementation of its enforcement and investigation role. The intelligence process consists of four phases – collection, registration, working up and analysis – which have to be implemented meticulously. Much of the relevant information is collected during doping controls. Information such as observations and findings from DCOs and other Doping Authority staff is recorded in secure systems. These data are worked up and interpreted. The information is then combined with other existing intelligence and data (scientific and otherwise). This can help to produce insights that can be used by the Enforcement & Investigations department for the purposes of the planning and implementation of doping controls.
The collected and analysed intelligence can be indispensable for the acquisition of more in-depth and supplementary information and it can serve as input for other working procedures at the Doping Authority.
Results in 2016
Intelligence was collected and worked up in the context of a range of disciplinary proceedings in 2016. That intelligence was used in the bi-weekly case management consultations and, where necessary, in disciplinary proceedings. In addition, intelligence was collected and analysed for the purposes of planning doping controls (intelligence-driven testing).
Through to the end of August 2016, there was an additional emphasis on doping controls for the group of athletes in the Registered Testing Pool, and the athletes who had qualified or had a good chance of qualifying for the Olympic or Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A Dutch professional road cyclist received a doping ban of four years in Belgium for the use of the prohibited substances nandrolone and amphetamine. During the appeal in Belgium in 2016, the athlete stated that his father had administered nandrolone on four occasions when the athlete was still a minor. The athlete stated that he had thought that these were vitamin injections. The appeal resulted in a reduction of the sanction for this athlete by the Belgian disciplinary authority to a period of two years. Pursuant to the decision of the appeal committee, the Doping Authority initiated an investigation. Additional information for the investigation was obtained by the Doping Authority through the Vertrouwenspunt Sport (the Confidential Phone Service of the NOC*NSF). After the completion of the investigation, the KNWU instigated proceedings against the father, a KNWU member, for the administration of doping to a minor. The Doping Authority reported this as a case of child abuse to the Dutch Youth and Family Foundation because the athlete was a minor when the substance was administered by his father. The ISR arrived at a decision in this case on 4 October 2016. The father received a lifetime ban. The decision was published by the KNWU on its website.
Case of possible identity fraud
Pursuant to an investigation beginning in 2015 of a possible doping violation, the suspicion arose that a criminal offence had been committed that was not a doping violation. When suspicions of this kind arise, the Doping Authority is obliged to share the information with the authorities that are competent to investigate matters of this kind. In this case, the report containing the relevant findings was supplied to the Dutch Ministry of Security & Justice. The investigation report containing the relevant findings was supplied to the immigration department of the police for further investigation and to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND then conducted further investigations that were completed in mid-2016.
A Doping Hotline was established in 2016 based on the following principles:
- reporting on the website www.dopingautoriteit.nl;
- low threshold for reporting;
- the registration, the follow-up and the confidentiality of the incoming reports should be safeguarded, as well as the privacy of the person submitting the report.
The Doping Hotline was opened on 1 July 2016 for athletes, support staff and the general public. Visitors to the website www.dopingautoriteit.nl can use a 'quick link' to submit reports or obtain information about the procedure and the subjects for reporting. People submitting reports can complete a web form and, if they wish, report on a completely anonymous basis. Technical measures have been taken to ensure that anonymity is safeguarded as much as possible. Follow-up to reports received by the Doping Hotline are coordinated by the Intelligence Officer and evaluated periodically.
Twenty-five reports about possible doping violations were received by the Doping Authority in 2016. That is three times the number of reports received in 20151. The reports related to thirteen different sports and they came from different sources: athletes, coaches, sports associations, Vertrouwenspunt Sport, Doping Hotline and foreign NADOs. The reports were made by telephone, in writing and in emails. Thirteen reports related to suspicions of doping, two to suspicions of manipulation, two to suspicions of administration, one case to a suspicion of facilitating doping, two to suspicions of trafficking and five to conduct that did not constitute a doping violation (such as the use of drugs out of competition without the intention of enhancing performance).
All reports were investigated and the results of those investigations were discussed in the discussions about cases under investigation in the Enforcement & Investigations department. On the basis of those discussions, testing strategies were drawn up where relevant for each case and decisions were made about the focus of subsequent intelligence gathering.
The sharing of information and collaboration with investigation and/or government services/other ADOs
The I&I information supplied by the Doping Authority is classified using an international system that rates the information in terms of the reliability of the information and the reliability of the source. In 2016, we provided information to the Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ), the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA), the police, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), the Youth and Family Foundation, the Belgian Police (Hormones cell), and to other ADOs (UKAD, NADO Flanders) and the IAAF. There were exploratory talks last year in the context of future collaboration or exchanges of information with several parties, including the NVWA, the Public Health Inspectorate and the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FIOD).
1 Number of reports in 2015: 8