In the Netherlands, disciplinary proceedings relating to possible anti-doping rule violations are the responsibility of Doping Authority Netherlands and the sports associations. Doping Authority Netherlands determines in which cases proceedings should be initiated, it has the competence to close files, and (with WADA) it has the competence to agree settlements in cases of anti-doping rule violations. Disciplinary proceedings for possible anti-doping rule violations with disciplinary bodies are organised under the responsibility of the sports federations. The majority of sports associations have outsourced disciplinary proceedings to the Institute for Sports Law (ISR).

The position of Doping Authority Netherlands in disciplinary procedures

If a potential anti-doping rule violation is observed, Doping Authority Netherlands assesses whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that there has been a violation. If not, Doping Authority Netherlands may decide to close a case. If, in the opinion of Doping Authority Netherlands, there is sufficient evidence, a charge will, as a rule, be filed with the disciplinary committee of the association in question. In these cases, the federation may file a charge[1] but Doping Authority Netherlands can also file the charge itself.

The disciplinary and appeals committees arrive at their decisions entirely independently of Doping Authority Netherlands. This does not mean that Doping Authority Netherlands is not closely involved in disciplinary proceedings relating to possible anti-doping rule violations. Doping Authority Netherlands is required to ensure that doping cases in the Netherlands receive a proper disciplinary handling. In other words, anti-doping rule violations must be processed in accordance with the National Doping Regulations (NDR) and the World Anti-Doping Code. The former describe and determine the various tasks incumbent upon Doping Authority Netherlands in disciplinary procedures. Those tasks involve, on the one hand, supporting and advising the disciplinary bodies in the interpretation and application of the doping regulations and, on the other, correcting decisions that do not comply with those regulations.

The support and advisory role is seen primarily in the contributions made by Doping Authority Netherlands during the disciplinary procedures: Doping Authority Netherlands is cognisant of the case, states written arguments in which all the relevant regulatory aspects are discussed and explained, and attends hearings at which it also speaks.

The corrective role is seen primarily in the right of appeal that Doping Authority Netherlands has in all doping cases, both with national appeals committees and with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. Furthermore, Doping Authority Netherlands is, as pointed out above, competent to file a charge with the disciplinary body of an association independently without calling in the board of the association.

Doping Authority Netherlands did not submit any appeals to the CAS in 2021.

Reporting to WADA and International Sports Federations

Doping Authority Netherlands reports on the disciplinary handling of doping cases to WADA, the relevant international federation (IF) and, where appropriate, the foreign national anti-doping organisation (NADO). These organisations are competent to appeal decisions to close a case, settlement agreements, and decisions of disciplinary bodies.
Reporting takes the form of sending the decision of Doping Authority Netherlands, the settlement, or the decision of the disciplinary body (in full or as a summary) to the aforementioned organisations. In addition, supplementary questions are answered, case files provided, and documents uploaded to WADA’s database (ADAMS).

No decision was given at all in 2021 in a case in which an international federation appealed against a decision made by a Dutch disciplinary body.

Reporting on disciplinary decisions

The table below lists all the decisions taken by Dutch disciplinary and appeals committees in doping cases in 2021 (inclusion depends upon the date of the decision), as well as the cases in which Doping Authority Netherlands proposed a sanction that was accepted by the athlete.

Table 4.1: Disciplinary decisions and sanction proposals accepted; situation when the annual report was closed
No.SportFinding/substanceYear of violationDecision
19/13CyclingSalbutamol2019Sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: two-year suspension.
20/1FootballCocaine, benzoylecgonine2020Sanction proposed by Doping Authority accepted: two-year suspension.
20/4AthleticsLigandrol2020ISR disciplinary committee: four-year suspension. Athlete has appealed.
  1. Many associations have outsourced this activity to the ISR’s independent prosecutor.