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. Because the position of Intelligence Officer was vacant in the early months of 2018, investigations were possible to only a limited extent during that period.
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). The insights generated are used by the Enforcement & Investigation department for the purposes of:
- planning doping controls in and out of competition;
- ongoing disciplinary proceedings;
- own observations and additions to existing cases that are not disciplinary procedures.
Results in 2018
Intelligence was collected and worked up in the context of a range of disciplinary proceedings in 2018. The information was used in the bi-weekly case management consultations and, where necessary, in disciplinary proceedings. The focus of the collection of information in the context of the planning of doping controls in 2018 included, among other things:
- competitions and training schedules of athletes in the Doping Authority's Registered Testing Pool with the aim of smart and efficient testing (the correct timing of the control in preparation for an event or qualification);
- the preliminary assessment of lists of participants at competitions/events and the targeted use of controls (when the Doping Authority has information about possible doping use by a participating athlete or group of athletes);
- the recording of information obtained passively about athletes with a whereabouts obligation in order to establish a picture of incorrect and/or incomplete whereabouts information.
The information collected was shared in structural consultations with members of staff involved in the planning of doping controls.
Visitors to the website www.dopingautoriteit.nl can submit reports through a 'quick link'. They can also use the link to 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. Extensive technical measures are in place to ensure that anonymity is safeguarded as much as possible.
Forty-seven reports about possible doping violations were received by the Doping Authority in 2018. That is a substantial increase over 2017 (2017: 23). The reports related to twelve different sports (2017: 7) and they came from different sources: athletes/fellow-athletes, the sports association, Vertrouwenspunt Sport (the Confidential Phone Service of the NOC*NSF), and a NADO from other countries. The reports were made in person, by telephone, in writing and in emails. There were suspicions of doping use in 23 cases (2017: 14), a suspicion of facilitating doping use in 4 cases (2017: 1), a suspicion of trafficking in 6 cases (2017: 4) and a report in one case related to conduct that does not constitute a doping violation (2017: 4) such as the use of drugs out of competition without the intention to improve sporting performance or 'mechanical doping'). In addition, there were 13 cases that were not covered by the above categories, such as reports about websites that sell illegal medicines or reports in response to media reports. In addition to the reports from external sources referred to here, the Doping Authority also received eight reports from internal sources. These were reports that reached the Intelligence Officer from colleagues.
All reports were investigated by the Intelligence Officer and the results of those investigations were covered 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 activities.
Collaboration with government services and fellow-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 2018, information was supplied to the Dutch Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ), NVWA-IOD, the Police, the Belgian Police (Hormone cell) and the fellow-anti-doping organisations NADO UK, NADO Flanders, NADO Germany, Anti-Doping Denmark, USADA, IAAF, UCI/CADF and ISU. There were several talks last year in the context of future collaboration or exchanges of information with several parties, including the NVWA, the IGJ and FIOD.