Revision of National Doping Regulations
A new version of the World Anti-Doping Code entered into force on 1 January 2015. This Code is implemented in the Netherlands through the National Doping Regulations (NDR). The text of the NDR was adopted by individual associations or by the Institute for Sports Law (for associations affiliated to the ISR). The text was amended again in 2016 in response to the proposed introduction of the Dutch Anti-Doping Policy Implementation Act (Wuab). Although it is unclear when the Wuab will enter into force, it is certain that the Doping Authority will become an independent governing body (ZBO) when it does so. Since the new ZBO will carry out tasks that are – on the basis of the NDR – currently the responsibility of the present Doping Authority, it was necessary to introduce an amendment to the NDR in this respect to include references to the ZBO and its remit and competences.
This development associated with the new law meant that all the Dutch elite sports associations, as well as the ISR, had to amend their Doping Regulations in 2016.
The amended NDR also includes a number of additions that had proved desirable pursuant to the practical implementation of regulations since 1 January 2015.
Another new element in the NDR is the position of the prosecutor. A version of the NDR has been produced for sports associations who wish to draw on the services of a prosecutor. This version allows a prosecutor to take over a number of tasks from an association board. In doping proceedings, a prosecutor cannot decide not to prosecute and cannot propose settlements related to the acceptance of sanctions. These competences reside with the Doping Authority as the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).
Contributions to doping proceedings
The involvement of the Doping Authority in disciplinary proceedings relating to doping is anchored in the NDR. This role consists primarily of submitting arguments in doping proceedings and attending hearings. The possibility of submitting arguments gives the Doping Authority the opportunity to discuss the file and the relevant provisions from the NDR and to respond to the defence put forward by the athlete or another person. The Doping Authority has submitted written arguments in all proceedings managed by disciplinary bodies in 2016, including appeals, followed in some cases by additional arguments. The Doping Authority was also present at hearings in almost all cases.
The Anti-Doping Policy Implementation Bill (Wuab)
The Anti-Doping Policy Implementation Bill (Wuab), together with the associated explanatory memorandum, was submitted to the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament on 19 September 2016. The Doping Authority made further contributions to the substance of this bill and the explanatory memorandum in 2016.
There was also a review of the impact of the switch from the current foundation structure of the doping authority to the new independent governing body, and of the impact of the implementation of, among other legislation, the General Administrative Law Act (AWB), the Open Government (Public Access) Act (WOB; the future Open Government Act (Woo)) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (which will come into force on 25 May 2018) on the ZBO.
Structural activities and operations
Our structural operations in 2016 included the provision of general legal services and support within the organisation. This involved preparing and reviewing contracts, letters, memoranda and policy memoranda, and advice for the various departments of the Doping Authority and management.
The structural activities in 2016 also included education and advice for sports associations and, in isolated cases, athletes with respect to the substance, operation and application of the Doping Regulations.