The educational policy of the Doping Authority makes a clear distinction between elite sports (organised sports) and fitness (sports organised on other lines). Elite sports are subject to doping regulations. The Doping Authority has the authority to conduct doping controls on the basis of these regulations. That is not the case in the fitness sector and a different approach is therefore required. Furthermore, the Doping Authority is responsible for providing the general public with information.
The objective for elite sports is: the prevention of inadvertent and deliberate doping infringements in Dutch sports.
The three main target groups in elite sports are:
- Elite athletes
- Support staff
- Sports associations
To prepare promising athletes over a period of eight years for competition at the global level, the Doping Authority developed the 'Doorlopende Leerlijn Dopingvrije Sport' (ongoing education for doping-free sports) in collaboration with the NOC*NSF in 2015. This programme describes the knowledge, skills and attitude needed for doping-free sports for all ages and development phases.
Physical education sessions
In line with these phases, the Doping Authority has developed three different education modules: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze has been designed as the first module and it serves as an introduction to the topic of doping. Silver focuses more on practising skills such as checking medicines and dietary supplements. During the Gold programme, the athletes are trained to work with difficult doping dilemmas that they may encounter during their careers such as suspicions that a teammate may be involved with doping or using approved medication purely and simply to perform better. The Doping Authority conducted a total of 84 physical educational sessions in 2018.
It is difficult to schedule education sessions for some groups of elite athletes. Nevertheless, it is important for these athletes to receive proper education as well. The Doping Authority therefore launched an e-learning platform in March 2017. This platform already allowed athletes to follow the Bronze and Silver modules. The National Testing Pool and Gold modules were added in January and March respectively of 2018. The Gold module is the third module in the Bronze, Silver, Gold series. The National Testing Pool module is intended for top athletes who have been included in the National Testing Pool by the Doping Authority. They must provide their whereabouts (accommodation and other location data).
National Testing Pool
For the development of the e-learning platform, a number of technical improvements were also made in 2018.
A number of videos were made for the physical education activities and e-learning modules in 2018.
Doping control – Urine en Blood
Explanation of the doping control procedure for urine and blood
Doping control - Urine
Explanation of the doping control procedure for urine
Doping control - Blood
Explanation of the doping control procedure for blood
Be PROUD Website Header
Header voor de website van het topsportprogramma Be PROUD
Doping Information App
The first Doping Information App appeared in late 2013. The app was made for iOS and Android. There is also a responsive website. The Doping Information App allows athletes and support staff to check their medicines and dietary supplements, for example, or to check the most important doping regulations and read about the doping control procedure. The app was downloaded 4,962 times in 2018 (2017: 5,478). The total number of downloads was 29,054 at year-end 2018. The Doping Information App is updated continuously. The app is also constantly promoted, for example at educational meetings, on a range of websites, in various articles, z-cards and posters.
100% Dope Free
The Doping Authority terminated the 100% Dope Free programme in 2018. 100% Dope Free was a programme of the Doping Authority in which everyone involved with Dutch elite sports at the opportunity to proclaim their support for clean sport. Over a period of ten years, more than 35,000 people supported the programme by signing the 100% Dope Free - True Winner statement. The 100% Dope Free – True Winner statement was an initiative of the Athletes Committee of the NOC*NSF and the Doping Authority.
Be PROUD and Talent Experience Day
At the same time as it terminated the 100% Dope Free programme, the Doping Authority launched the Be PROUD programme. Be PROUD focuses on strengthening the right sports values and it has been set up in cooperation with NOC*NSF, elite athletes (past and present) and trainers/coaches. Athletes, family, coaches, medical staff, sports association staff and other sports enthusiasts are being invited to support Be PROUD, either as supporters or ambassadors. Sports organisations also have the option of being partners. In this way, a large and powerful team will be established that is proud of clean sports. The Be PROUD programme has its own website and social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The launch was organised on the Talent Experience Day at the Vitesse training complex in Papendal. The Talent Experience Day was arranged to thank talented athletes who had participated in a study about making ethical decisions in the field of clean sports. This study was conducted by Radboud University. The Doping Authority played a supporting role.
The day included a range of workshops for the athletes. The football club Vitesse, for example, gave a look behind the scenes at their Football Lab. The athletes also had lunch with the Papendal chef, Erik te Velthuis, and sports psychologist Paul van Zwam told them about how to deal with competition nerves. Sunweb's Scientific Expert, Teun van Erp, also told them how Team Sunweb uses science to improve performance.
The chairman of the NOC*NSF Athletes Committee, Hinkelien Schreuder, and the leading speed skater Kai Verbij were the first to join the programme by signing up as supporters of clean sports. Kai Verbij also told a personal story about his road to the top and the sporting values that are important to him.
By the end of 2018, Be PROUD had six ambassadors: Epke Zonderland (gymnastics), Jessica Schilder (athletics), Jetze Plat (handbiking/paratriathlon), Kai Verbij (skating), Madelein Meppelink (beach volleyball), and Vince Rooi (baseball). The number of affiliated organisations (Be PROUD partners) was 23 at that time. The number of supporters was 694.
At outreach events, the Doping Authority is present with a stand at a sporting event in order to provide general information for large groups of elite athletes and support staff. There were two outreach events in 2018: at the Super 6 Baseball & Softball tournament (22 September) and at the rugby international match Netherlands-Switzerland (24 November).
The Doping Authority had a regular spot in the NOC*NSF elite sports magazine Lopend Vuur. Four articles were written for the magazine in 2018. NOC*NSF has decided to stop publishing Lopend Vuur. The final edition came out in June 2018.
Dutch Safeguards System for Dietary Supplements in Elite Sport (NZVT)
Dietary supplements can contain prohibited substances that are often not listed on the label. The use of dietary supplements can therefore represent a risk for elite athletes since they can lead to a positive result after a doping control. In response to this risk, the Doping Authority established the Dutch Safeguards System for Dietary Supplements in Elite Sport (NZVT) in 2003. The system allows manufacturers of dietary supplements to have batches of their supplements checked in exchange for payment. The 'clean' product-batch combinations are added to the NVZT database.
A total of 260 NZVT certificates were issued in 2018 (for 478 product-batch combinations). This is, once again, the highest number ever, a sign that the Dutch Dietary Supplements system (NZVT) is still catering to a significant need for athletes and their support staff. In total, on 31 December 2018, there were 1,259 product-batch combinations on the NZVT website (antidoping.nl/nzvt) representing 341 products, 53 brands and 16 substantive categories. Seven batches were rejected because prohibited substances were found in them.
The Doping Authority visited LGC in England on 14 May. LGC carries out most of the analyses of the supplements for the NZVT. The main objective was to discuss the automation/modernisation of the NZVT.
Alongside the focus on athletes, there has been rising interest in support staff in recent years. This group includes, in particular, trainers and coaches but also people like doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians, masseurs, soigneurs, psychologists and parents.
Physical education sessionsA total of 20 education sessions were organised for support staff in 2018: fifteen for trainers and coaches and five for other categories. The trainer-coach educational meetings are based on the Ongoing Educational Module for Doping-Free Sport for coaches. The Doping Authority has developed three different basic education strategies for this module: Trainer-Coach 3, Trainer-Coach 4 and Trainer-Coach 5/Master Coach. The content complies with the educational structure of the Sport Qualification Structure.
|Trainer-Coach 5 / Master Coach||2||5|
In 2018, the Doping Authority also developed e-learning modules for support staff. Trainer-Coach 3 was published in January and Trainer-Coach 4 in February. The e-learning module designed specifically for parents went online in June. The module for medical and paramedical support staff was launched in October.
|Medical and paramedical support staff||8|
The sports associations are also an important target group for the Doping Authority. They are closest to the elite athletes and the support staff.
Meeting of sports associations
The Support Clean Sport meeting (formerly known as the Association meet / Together against Doping meet) was organised for the ninth time on 6 November at the NBC location in Nieuwegein and it was attended by approximately 31 people representing sports associations, RTOs (Regional Elite Sports Organisations) and CTOs (Centres for Elite Sports and Education). The aim of the annual meeting is to catch up on developments in the field of anti-doping.
The average rating for the event from the participants was 7.5/10.
In 2018, the Doping Authority also developed an e-learning module for the sports associations. It was published in August. The module was completed seventeen times in 2018.
In addition, the Doping Authority worked with the Dutch Athletics Union to link the registration system for the National Athletics Championships to the e-learning platform of the Doping Authority. This means that athletes can only register for the National Athletics Championships if they have also completed the Bronze e-learning module. Verification of the completed e-learning module takes place automatically on the basis of the e-mail address that is entered. A similar link has also been prepared for the KNWU and the JBN.
The goal for fitness (sports organised outside a club context) is: preventing or discouraging deliberate and inadvertent doping use by athletes in Dutch fitness centres. There is also a focus on harm reduction: reducing the health risks associated with doping.
In the fitness world, the Doping Authority focuses in particular on the people in the fitness centres: the athletes themselves but also the instructors (with whom we establish contact primarily through the various fitness courses) and the owners. The Doping Authority organised communications for this target group on the basis of the True Strength programme. The book Doping, the sober facts is the only work to be published directly under the auspices of the Doping Authority rather than under the True Strength banner.
Own Strength programme
There are 2.5 million fitness adherents in the Netherlands. Fitness is therefore the most popular sporting activity in the Netherlands. However, a survey in 2009 showed that 8.2% of fitness athletes use prohibited substances. That does not constitute an anti-doping rule violation because these people are not subject to doping regulations. However, the use of prohibited substances still harms health and it also has a negative effect on the image of the fitness branch itself and so it is desirable to reduce levels of doping in fitness centres. The Doping Authority therefore decided to develop the education programme True Strength specifically for this group in order to provide information about the risks of using anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances, and about healthy alternatives for building muscle or losing weight using True Strength. The aim is to raise levels of knowledge and awareness. The values and norms applicable to participation in sports in line with True Strength are also confirmed.
True Strength website
The True Strength website plays a central role in the programme. It provides objective, clear and practical information about how to build up muscle mass cleanly and effectively, and about sound ways of losing weight. There is also objective information about various types of listed prohibited substances and the side-effects, and the doping risks of dietary supplements are discussed.
In 2018, a total of 47 factual news reports were posted on the site. They were written by three external experts (journalists or specific experts) from the fitness/bodybuilding branch and by our own education officers.
True Strength book
The Doping Authority completely rewrote the True Strength book in 2018. The book discusses the area in more detail and depth than the previous edition. The book is also more in line with the True Strength website and the Supplement Checker App. The first chapter of the book focuses on the 'motives' of True Strength: promoting a deliberately active and healthy lifestyle. The 'Healthy Weight' chapter looks at what a healthy weight looks like, how you can achieve or maintain it, and the risks that may affect that balance. ‘Hart aan de slag', the chapter on cardio training, has been expanded substantially with schedules for circuit training and running training. ‘Aan het ijzer' is the largest chapter in the book, including a full year's programme for building muscle mass. It covers muscle hypertrophy, hormones, energy use and training variables, as well as how to set up a training plan and how to eliminate obstacles to progress. 'Aan tafel', the nutrition chapter, tells you everything you need to know about a healthy diet for active people. A separate section has been put aside for vegetarian food and why it need not have a negative effect on sporting performance. The topic of supplements and doping is discussed in the concluding chapter of the book, which is published by Arko Sports Media.
True Strength day
In order to boost the presentation of the new edition of the True Strength book, the Doping Authority organised a True Strenth day on 9 December. This afternoon full of presentations and workshops was organised during the SAP Weekend in the Koningshof Congress Centre in Veldhoven. The presentations covered three themes: hypertrophy, appearance-related pressures and doping in bodybuilding. There were also workshops on bench presses and 'green proteins'. Rob van Rossum was chair for the day. There were 50 to 60 participants. The average rating for the event from the participants was 8.4/10.
|Speaker||Presentation / Workshop / Stand|
|Tjieu Maas||Muscle hypertrophy: limits to growth|
|Pim Knuiman||Cardio and strength training: friend or foe?|
|Chi Lueng Chiu||The dark side of losing weight|
|Liesbeth Woertman||Psychology of appearance|
|Pim de Ronde||HAARLEM study - baseline results|
|Hans Wassink||Evolution of bodybuilding|
|René Hamers / Rowana Zwerts||The better bench Workshop|
|Jürgen Verweijen||The green protein bar Workshop|
Supplement Checker App
The Doping Authority launched the Supplement Checker App in August 2017 under the True Strength banner. The market for sports supplements has grown explosively in the past decade. Nearly 60% of fitness athletes in the Netherlands use supplements. Elite athletes also use many supplements. The free Supplement Checker App helps athletes to use supplements responsibly and critically. The heart of the app is a discussion and review of more than 3000 ingredients.
The app has been downloaded 4,134 times in one year. Users have searched for specific ingredients such as creatine and BCAAs and magnesium 32,015 times. The quick scan function that searches on the basis of claims (such as muscle growth or fat loss) has been consulted 22,626 times. The Supplement Checker App was maintained continuously in 2018.
Guest lectures and meetings
The Doping Authority presented six guest readings at various fitness courses in 2018. In addition, a presentation was given for the municipality of Winterswijk (10 January) and two guest readings were given for the Haagse Politie Sportvereniging (The Hague Police Sports Association) (both on 7 December). There was also a presentation at the Harm Reduction Congress of the Trimbos Institute on 17 April. In recent years, we have received more questions from municipalities and prevention officers about doping in fitness.
At outreach events, True Strength is present with a stand at a fitness event in order to provide general information for large groups of elite athletes and support staff. True Strength was at the INBA on 24 April. The INBA is an American natural bodybuilding association that has a representative association in various countries. They were organising a natural bodybuilding competition for the first time in the Netherlands. Doping controls were conducted by IDTM (Sweden). It should be pointed out that the policy of the INBA is not based on the World Anti-Doping Code: the INBA has drawn up its own rules.
Theme videos from Back in balance documentary
The documentary Back in balance - the evolution of women's bodybuilding appeared in 2017. The documentary shows the new path that bodybuilding for women took a few years ago. New criteria and a range of new categories have been introduced to bring back 'femininity' to the sport. Eight additional theme videos were produced in 2018 using the uncut film material.
Clean Hunks are fitness athletes/body builders who have demonstrated that you can build up an impressive physique without dope. They are the ambassadors for doping-free fitness. There were 18 Clean Hunks affiliated with the True Strength programme in 2018. They are all on the website with a background story and photographs.
NL Active course books
The Doping Authority has contributed to the new course books of NL Active (formerly Fit!Vak): Fitness Trainer A and Fitness Trainer B. We adapted an existing chapter about doping in the A book and wrote a new chapter for the B book. Both books have now been published.
Harm reduction: Book: 'Doping, the sober facts'
Doping, the sober factswas published in October 2014. It provides the reader with a thorough overview of the substances currently used in fitness and bodybuilding. As much relevant scientific information as possible has been collected about the effects and side-effects of anabolic steroids, growth hormones, insulin, appetite-suppressing amphetamines and many other prohibited substances. There are also reports about the experiences of users in practice and knowledge from the doping scene itself. The emphasis here is on information that is often swept under the carpet in these circles. There is still a lot of interest in the book. The current edition has almost been sold out. It is published by Arko Sports Media.
The Doping Authority's corporate website is www.dopingautoriteit.nl. The website was made responsive for different screen sizes in 2018 and the design was also adapted at the same time. We contributed 20 releases of our own to the site during the course of the year (2017: 31). ANP news are also an important component of the information we supply. Approximately 287 ANP news reports were published (automatically) on the site in 2018. That is less than in 2017 (359).
Doping Information Line
The Doping Email Line is the front office for any questions relating to doping. It is manned by teams of four working in turn. All questions are processed within one working day and recorded anonymously in a database. The email service was extended to include WhatsApp in August 2018. The mobile number, 06-11226200, is reserved exclusively for WhatsApp. Calls are not answered.
A total of 678 emails/WhatsApp messages were received in 2018. That is 2% less than in 2017, when there were 690 registered emails.
In addition, the numbers of questions per subject were also monitored. Individual questions could be allocated to several subjects. The percentages for each subject can be found in the table below. As in 2017, two subjects stand out: questions about nutritional supplements (30.2%) and checking whether a medicine is on the prohibited list or not (24.6%). Questions about therapeutic use exemptions and the associated procedure occupied third place (just over 11%).
Club sports and elite sports accounted for 77% of the emails, fitness for 8%, and other sectors for 15%. There were two reports of possible doping violations, a representative of the press sent an email on nine occasions, and seven emails related to an athlete who was found positive. Ninety-two of the questions came in via WhatsApp.
The Doping Authority was already active on YouTube. We also opened a Facebook account in late 2016, followed by Twitter and Instagram in 2017. The aim is to reach the target groups better and therefore raise their awareness of the rules, rights and risks. We post, among other things, news items from the corporate website, educational videos and photos of education sessions.
In 2018, the Doping Authority was approached on more than 400 occasions by the media, both for information and comments about current events and for answers to in-depth questions not related to topical issues. The CEO of the Doping Authority acted as spokesman. In his absence, or when specific topics are involved, the Doping Authority's Scientific Policy Officer sometimes stood in for him.