In 2019, work continued on the implementation of the doping control policy, which was drawn up in close partnership with NOC*NSF. The emphasis of the doping controls is on the very top levels of Dutch sports. In addition, Doping Authority Netherlands was able to conduct targeted controls for specific individuals and/or groups at competition levels immediately below the very top. The number of follow-up investigations and specific and/or supplementary analyses was lower in 2019. Considerable 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 the locations associated with their daily activities to Doping Authority Netherlands or the international federation.

Intelligence & Investigations is housed with the Enforcement & Investigations department. The merger of the Doping Control and Intelligence & Investigations processes resulted in direct exchanges of information and optimal collaboration. See Chapter 3 for more about Intelligence & Investigations.

Doping controls are the main tool at our disposal for investigating anti-doping rule violations but they are also important in terms of prevention. This chapter reports on the number of anti-doping rule 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 use or stop in response to the doping control programme.

Registered Testing Pool (RTP)

On the basis of the amended World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the associated International Standards, Doping Authority Netherlands established a Registered Testing Pool (RTP). Athletes in the RTP of Doping Authority Netherlands are required to comply with a number of obligations. For example, before using medicines on the prohibited list, they must apply for a therapeutic use exemption from the TUE committee. They must also provide whereabouts information and attend an education session organised by Doping Authority Netherlands.
There were 12 sports associations with athletes in the RTP in 2019. That is more than in 2018 (11 sports associations). The number of athletes in the RTP was virtually the same as in 2018: 369 athletes at the beginning of 2019 as opposed to 367 athletes at the beginning of 2018. Once again in 2019, athletes were only required to provide whereabouts information to one organisation: either Doping Authority Netherlands or the international federation.

Doping Authority Netherlands uses the whereabouts module of the global administration and management system ADAMS, that can be used to submit athlete data through a whereabouts app developed by Doping Authority Netherlands. In late 2019, this app was replaced by a new app (Athlete Central) developed in-house by WADA as part of the ADAMS Next Gen project. In 2019, like the ADAN foundation in previous years, Doping Authority Netherlands also drew extensively on information from external sources such as the websites of national and international federations, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to determine where athletes were to be found.

Controls conducted - general

Doping Authority Netherlands conducted two types of doping control for Dutch sports in 2019: 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, foreign National Anti-Doping Organisations and professional sports organisations. Doping Authority Netherlands'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 Anti-Doping Organisations.

The national programme – underlying principles

Doping Authority Netherlands was established as an independent administrative body with effect from 1 January 2019 and the Ministry of Sport and NOC*NSF made funding available for 2019 for the costs of implementing the national control programme on behalf of the Dutch sports associations. The annual plan for 2019 was initially a national programme of some 2,500 doping controls but this number was later cut back to 2,400. Approximately 15% of the available controls were earmarked for target controls, follow-up investigations, and for doping controls pursuant to records and fulfilling official limits. On the basis of the anti-doping policy, Doping Authority Netherlands divided the remaining controls (approximately 85%) between 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 2019, 2,427 controls were conducted as part of the national control programme (the national programme implemented in 2018 consisted of 2,257 doping controls). The overwhelming majority (2,068) were urine controls. There were also 359 blood controls in 2019, for example in the context of the Athlete Biological Passport. This was more than in 2018 (+41%). This rise can be explained by the additional increase in the standard for the longitudinal profiling of athletes in certain sports disciplines on the basis of the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA).
The 2,427 doping controls conducted for the national control programme covered 35 Olympic sports and 15 non-Olympic sports in a ratio of 93:7. 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

  1. Cycling
  2. Athletics
  3. Skating
  4. Swimming
  5. Rowing

The percentage of out-of-competition controls (blood and urine) in the national programme was 51%. This number is slightly higher than in 2018 (48%). Of the 2,427 doping controls (blood and urine) conducted for sports in the Netherlands, 1,363 involved men (56%) and 1,064 women (44%).

Doping controls for third parties

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU), the Royal Dutch Korfball Association (KNKV) and the Dutch Skateboard Federation (SFN) financed an additional doping control programme alongside the national programme for Dutch competitions.
Various Dutch associations and sports organisations have purchased additional controls from Doping Authority Netherlands for international events in the Netherlands. And controls have been carried out for foreign organisations and for professional sports organisations. A total of 713 doping controls were conducted on the basis of assignments from third parties, 20% fewer than in 2018 when a total of 888 controls were conducted in this way. This decrease is partly attributable to the lower number of major international sport events in the Netherlands in which Doping Authority Netherlands played a role, a slight decline in the number of controls for 'Racing for Clean Sport' of the KNWU and the termination of the collaboration with Glory Sports.
The majority of the additional doping controls conducted for Dutch and foreign associations and organisers were in-competition controls (74%). Seventy-one percent of the doping controls for third parties involved men and 38% involved 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 2019. A total of 3,140 doping controls were conducted.

Table 2.1 General overview of doping controls conducted in 2019
Doping controls conducted by Doping Authority NetherlandsUrineBloodTotal
Doping controls conducted for Dutch sport (Dutch national programme)2,0683592,427
Doping controls conducted for foreign sports organisations and other organisations603110713
Total conducted by Doping Authority Netherlands2,6714693,140
Number of doping controls20192018
National programme (Netherlands)2,4272,257
On behalf of third parties713888

Total number of doping controls: the top five

  1. Cycling
  2. Athletics
  3. Skating
  4. Swimming
  5. Football

The total number of 3,140 doping controls for Dutch sports and sports organisations was almost the same as in 2018, when there were 3,145 doping controls.

Table 2.2: Overview of the number of doping controls in 2019
SportNational Programme (Netherlands)Conducted for third partiesTotal conducted
Car racing404000404
Billiard sports1801840422022
Dance sport1201200012012
Floorball and unihockey808000808
Paralympic sports101000101
Equestrian sports130133003043043
Baseball and softball430431601659059
Ice hockey2502500025025
Indoor and outdoor bowls000000000
Karate Do2002000020020
Mountaineering and climbing808000808
Strength sports3914000039140
Air sports000000000
Motor sport1701700017017
Underwater sports606000606
Roller sports404000404
Table tennis909000909
Tug of war000000000
Combat sports110111101122022
Water skiing707000707
Water sports2402400024024
Table 2.3: Number of in-competition and out-of-competition controls in 2019
SportIn competitionOut of competition
Car racing404000
Billiard sports22022000
Dance sport12012000
Floorball and unihockey808000
Paralympic sports000101
Equestrian sports35035808
Baseball and softball56056303
Ice hockey80817017
Indoor and outdoor bowls000000
Karate Do13013707
Mountaineering and climbing808000
Strength sports33033617
Air sports000000
Motor sport16016101
Underwater sports606000
Roller sports404000
Table tennis808101
Tug of war000000
Combat sports1101111011
Waterskiing and wakeboarding606101
Water sports1201212012

Whereabouts failures

A total of 37 definitive whereabouts failures were registered in 2019. Whereabouts failures can be either Missed tests (when the athlete is not present at the stated location in the 60 minute time slot) or Filing failures (the failure to comply with the obligation to supply adequate whereabouts information correctly and in good time).
The number of whereabouts failures was 20% lower in 2019 than in 2018 (when there were 31 cases). In 2019, one athlete was found to have two whereabouts filing failures in a twelve-month period. No athletes were found to have a third whereabouts filing failure in a period of twelve months.

The leading numbers of definitive whereabouts failures were accounted for by the Rowing Union (KNRB), the Gymnastics Union (KNGU) and the Athletics Union (KNAU)/ Swimming Association (KNZB). 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 2019, the Rowing Union accounted for most whereabouts failures; the Judo Association was at the top of this list in 2018.

Doping controls that did not take place

In addition to the controls that did not take place due to a missed test, 406 planned doping controls failed to take place in 2019 for other reasons:

  1. a lack of capacity to implement the assignment within the specified time frame;
  2. athletes/teams were absent from events and competitions and central training sessions which they were expected to attend;
  3. the doping control official (DCO) went to a training session or competition, and it then emerged that the training session or competition had been cancelled or moved;
  4. a doping control official 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 after all, where appropriate by scheduling controls at an event of a comparable size.

Sport-specific analyses

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. WADA's Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA) includes binding provisions that apply to National Anti-Doping Organisations, including Doping Authority Netherlands. 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).

In 2019, urine and/or blood samples were checked for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs) in 13% of the 2,427 doping controls in the national programme. This percentage was lower than in 2018 (43%). The ESA analyses covered a range of relevant sports disciplines, with cycling, athletics, skating, swimming and rowing at the top of the list (in absolute numbers).

The urine and/or blood samples collected in 30% of 2,427 controls were also analysed for the presence of human growth hormone and/or Growth Hormone Releasing Factors (GHRFs). This percentage was lower than in 2018 (33%). The samples came from a range of sports, with the leading sports in absolute numbers being cycling, athletics, skating, swimming and rowing.

In addition (as in 2018), various samples were also analysed for testosterone. Furthermore, large numbers of blood samples were taken to check for growth hormone, ESAs and Haemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers (HBOCs).

In 2019, a large proportion 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 controls was 45%, almost the same percentage as in 2018 (44%). 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.

Target controls

Doping Authority Netherlands 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

In this system, several blood samples are taken over time from selected athletes from a range of sports for the purposes of establishing longitudinal profiles. A total of 191 blood samples were collected for the purposes of the Athlete Biological Passport. These blood controls were conducted in the following sports: athletics, judo, rowing, skating, triathlon, football, cycling and swimming. The number of ABP controls rose by comparison with 2018, when 172 samples were taken.

Mobile doping control station

Doping Authority Netherlands purchased a new mobile doping control station in 2019. It was built to specific requirements and it can be used to take blood samples.


In 2019, 39 files with adverse (analytical and non-analytical) findings were registered with Doping Authority Netherlands. In 36 cases, the adverse findings related to A urine samples. The other three files involved non-analytical findings.

The incidence of adverse findings (including non-analytical findings) was, with 39 files from 3,140 controls, 1.2%. By comparison with the number of urine controls, the incidence was 1.5%. The percentage was similar to that in 2018 (1.0%).

Graph Percentage of deviating findings

Cases for which specific follow-up investigations were required

Of the 36 registered dossiers with adverse findings for the A urine samples, none involved atypical findings for which specific follow-up investigations were required with the aim of determining whether there had been a possible anti-doping rule violation. This decrease by comparison with 2018 (nine cases) is attributable to the fact that Doping Authority Netherlands worked with ADAMS and the longitudinal information about athletes based on national and international doping controls that has become available as a result. The introduction of the steroid passport and the close collaboration with an Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) means that the follow-up approach has changed.

Cases closed on the grounds of therapeutic use exemptions

In eighteen 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 cases were therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the disciplinary committee of the sports association in question.

In six instances, the TUE Committee granted an exemption after all before the binding result was reported to the association by Doping Authority Netherlands for the use of the substance found. The relevant athlete was not in the Registered Testing Pool of Doping Authority Netherlands. This file was therefore closed and did not result in proceedings with the sports association in question either.

Table 2.4: Adverse analytical results in 2019 justified by a therapeutic use exemption: situation at time of the closure of the annual report (6 March 2020); RTP=Registered Testing Pool
SportFinding/substanceNumberSubsequent action
Athleticsmetabolite of tamoxifen2athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Athleticsmetabolites of tamoxifen1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Billiard sportscarvedilol, bumetanide2therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not RTP), file closed
Boxingmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Dance sportprednisolone, prednisone1therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not RTP), file closed
Gymnasticsamphetamine2athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Handballmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Handballmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Rugbymetabolite of amphetamine2therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not RTP), file closed
Skatingmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Triathlonmetabolite of methylphenidate2athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Footballinsulin aspart1therapeutic use exemption granted after the event (not RTP), file closed
Volleyballhydrochlorothiazide1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
CyclinghGH1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Cyclingmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Swimmingmetabolites of spironolactone2athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Swimmingamphetamine1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed
Swimmingmetabolite of methylphenidate1athlete in possession of therapeutic use exemption, case closed

Classification according to the WADA Prohibited List

Upon classification at the group level in accordance with the 2019 WADA Prohibited List, a prohibited substance (or metabolite of such a substance) was found a total of 58 times in the 36 adverse A urine samples referred to above.

One urine sample contained four prohibited substances and/or metabolites of those substances. Two urine samples contained metabolites of three prohibited substances and fifteen samples contained metabolites of two prohibited substances.

There were findings in the stimulants category in 29 of the 58 cases, a striking rise over 2018. On eleven occasions, the substances in question were diuretics and other masking substances. Five cases involved hormone and metabolic modulators and/or their metabolites.

The percentage in the anabolic substances category was approximately 66% down on 2018. This change was primarily attributable to a lower number of urine samples with a T/E ratio exceeding 4 and/or with an atypical steroid profile (from 9 to 0).

Table 2.5: Detected substances and initial adverse findings in 2019
Detected substances20182019
Anabolic substances124
Peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances01
Beta2 agonists11
Hormone and metabolic modulators75
Diuretics/masking substances011

Anti-doping rule violations/cases resulting in proceedings

In one case in 2019, Doping Authority Netherlands made a proposal regarding a sanction to the athlete in question before initiating proceedings with the sports association in question. It did the same in one case after proceedings had been initiated with the sports association in question. Both athletes accepted the proposal.

In 2019, Doping Authority Netherlands ultimately initiated proceedings in 11 cases (2018: 11) in seven different sports because of possible infringements of the regulations of the sports association in question. Two cases (in darts) were not investigated by Doping Authority Netherlands but by the prosecutor of the ISR. These cases involved 12 men and 1 woman. Strength sports accounted for the largest number of cases (three).

The percentage of violations noted on Dutch territory pursuant to controls conducted as part of the national programme was 0.6% (15 cases under national anti-doping regulations resulting from 2,427 doping controls conducted as part of the national programme). This percentage complies with the stated target for 2019 of a maximum of 1% positive cases in Dutch athletes.

Table 2.6: Analysis results and non-analytical findings in 2019 registered by Doping Authority Netherlands as possible anti-doping rule violations; situation when the annual report was closed (ISR = Institute for Sports Law)
SportFinding/substanceNumberSubsequent action
19/1Athleticsmetabolite of modafinil1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/2Car racingmetabolites of hydrochlorothiazide1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/3Cricketmetabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/4Cricketmetabolite of methylphenidate1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/5Dartsuse or attempted use of a prohibited substance2management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/6Karate Dometabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/7Strength sportsParticipation in event during imposed period of ineligibility1management by the Appeals Committee for Compliance with Doping Sanctions
19/8Strength sportsmetabolite of drostanolone, metabolite of stanozolol, positive IRMS (for testosterone and at least one of the Adiols)1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/9Strength sportsindapamide, metabolite of nandrolone1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/10Underwater sportsmetabolite of methylphenidate1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/11Rugbyamphetamine, metabolites of cocaine1sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: two-year suspension
19/12Water skiing and wakeboardingmetabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)1sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: reprimand
19/13CyclingSalbutamol1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)
19/14Cyclingmetabolite of methylphenidate1management by ISR (on behalf of sports association)