The educational policy of Doping Authority Netherlands makes a clear distinction between elite sports (organised sports) and fitness (sports organised on other lines). Elite sports are subject to doping regulations. Doping Authority Netherlands has the authority to conduct doping controls on the basis of these regulations. That is not the case in the fitness sector and so a different approach is required there. Furthermore, Doping Authority Netherlands is responsible for providing the general public with information.


The COVID pandemic had a major impact on the implementation of the education policy again in 2021. The number of educational sessions and outreach events (stands at events) involving a physical presence was drastically reduced. A number of other activities were organised differently than usual (for example in hybrid ways or pre-recorded). The decline in the number of questions put to the Doping Information Line continued. And once again, it proved difficult to generate attention for the Be PROUD programme. On the other hand, the number of completed e-learning modules rose sharply, even by comparison with 2020. More web messages were written for True Strength during the lockdown.


The objective for elite sports is: the prevention of inadvertent and deliberate anti-doping rule violations in Dutch sport.

The three main target groups in elite sports are:

  • Elite athletes
  • Support staff
  • Sports associations

Implementation of the 2021 Code and International Standard for Education

The International Standard for Education required all signatories to the Code to have an education plan in place by 1 January 2021. Signatories are required to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate education programmes on the basis of that plan. Doping Authority Netherlands had already largely established the National Education Programme in 2020 and work on the programme continued in 2021. In collaboration with the sports associations, the programme has now been almost fully implemented.

Elite athletes

To prepare promising athletes within approximately eight years for competition at the global level, Doping Authority Netherlands developed the ‘Doorlopende Leerlijn Schone Sport’ (ongoing education module for clean sports) in collaboration with the NOC*NSF. This module describes the knowledge, skills and attitude needed for doping-free sports. It is a part of the National Education Programme.

Education sessions in person

Following up on that module, Doping Authority Netherlands has developed three different education modules for athletes: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze was 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 medication and nutrition supplements. Finally, during the Gold programme, the athletes look at whereabouts and difficult doping dilemmas that they may encounter during their careers, such as suspicions that a teammate may be involved with doping or may be using approved medication purely and simply to perform better.

In 2021, Doping Authority Netherlands organised a total of 46 education sessions for a total of approximately 750 elite athletes. Seventeen sessions were organised online using Microsoft Teams or a similar program. The rest took place in person. This is more education sessions than last year, but fewer than in the years before the corona pandemic.

Table 1.1: Overview of education sessions for elite athletes
Education module20172018201920202021

E-learning platform

Once again in 2021, it was not always possible to organise education sessions in person. Fortunately, the Doping Authority had already launched an e-learning platform in 2017. The Bronze, Silver, Gold and National Testing Pool modules were available for elite athletes on this platform. The Bronze, Silver and Gold modules tie in with the Bronze, Silver and Gold education sessions conducted in person. The National Testing Pool module is intended for elite athletes who have been included in the Registered Testing Pool (previously known as the National Testing Pool) of Doping Authority Netherlands. They must supply whereabouts information (overnight stay and residence data). With the advent of the new Code and the International Standard for Education, the content of the Bronze, Silver and Gold e-learning modules has been updated. The National Testing Pool e-learning module was discontinued effective 1 July. The content of this module has been included in the revised Gold e-learning module.

Table 1.2 Overview of completed e-learning modules for elite athletes
Education module20172018201920202021
National Testing Pool-65469241

At the end of an e-learning module, users of the e-learning platform are asked to rate the module on a scale of 1 to 10. The ratings for the e-learning modules were as follows: Bronze 8.0, Silver 7.7, Gold 7.6 and National Testing Pool 7.8.

The development of the e-learning platform continued in 2021. That included the redevelopment and rebuilding of the front end.


The existing videos were transferred to a Doping Authority Netherlands Vimeo account in 2021, from where they are displayed on the various websites and in the authority’s different mobile applications.

Doping Information App

The Doping Information App has been with us since late 2013. The app works on iOS and Android. There is also a responsive website. The Doping Information App allows athletes and support staff, among others, to check their medication and nutrition supplements, read the most important doping regulations and view the doping control procedure. The app was downloaded approximately 3,600 times in 2021 (2020: approximately 3,200 downloads). The total number of downloads was in the region of 40,000 at year-end 2021. The Doping Information App is updated continuously. The app is also constantly promoted, for example at education sessions, on a range of websites, in various articles, and on Z cards and posters.


Be PROUD is an initiative of Doping Authority Netherlands and it focuses on affirming the right sporting values. The programme was established in collaboration with NOC*NSF, elite athletes of the past and present, and trainers/coaches. It was launched in the summer of 2018. Athletes, family, coaches, medical staff, sports association staff and other sports enthusiasts are 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 is 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.

At year-end 2021, Be PROUD had twelve ambassadors: Eva Voortman (softball), Margriet Bergstra (judo), Rogier Hofman (hockey), Sophie Souwer (rowing), Steve Wijler (archery), Epke Zonderland (gymnastics), Jessica Schilder (athletics), Jetze Plat (handbiking/paratriathlon), Kai Verbij (speed skating), Madelein Meppelink (beach volleyball), Vince Rooi (baseball) and Ran Faber (korfball).

The number of affiliated organisations (Be PROUD partners) has been 40 since year-end 2021. The number of supporters rose from 1,376 to 1,495. To promote Be PROUD, water bottles and vials of hand gel were handed out in 2021.

In 2021, Doping Authority Netherlands worked with BOOM Communicatie on the further development of Be PROUD. The focus was on strengthening the base. The action taken consisted of: a more concrete brand story (to be read on the website), ambassador and partner plans, tool kits for ambassadors and partners, an advertising campaign during the Olympic and Paralympic Games to raise brand awareness, recording sessions for an ambassador video and introductory interviews with potential new ambassadors.

Outreach Events

At outreach events, Doping Authority Netherlands is present with a stand at a sporting event in order to promote Be PROUD and to provide general information for large groups of elite athletes and support staff. One outreach event was organised in 2021 at the Martial Arts Congress (20 October). During this outreach event, 28 Be PROUD postcards were sent.

Dutch Safeguards System for Nutrition Supplements in Elite Sport (NZVT)

Nutrition supplements can contain prohibited substances That is often not stated on the label. The use of nutrition supplements therefore constitutes a risk for elite athletes because it can lead to a positive result from a doping test. In response to this risk, the Doping Authority established the Dutch Safeguards System for Nutrition Supplements in Elite Sport (NZVT) in 2003. The system allows manufacturers of nutrition supplements to have batches of their supplements checked in exchange for payment. The ‘clean’ product-batch combinations are added to the NVZT database. The new NZVT system went into operation in 2021. The NPN and Doping Authority Netherlands will initially be taking on all the roles (manufacturer, LGC, NPN, Doping Authority and Wageningen Food Safety Research). Other organisations will gradually become involved in the new system at a later stage.

A total of 291 NZVT certificates were issued in 2021 (for 422 product-batch combinations). In total, on 31 December 2021, there were 1266 product-batch combinations on the NZVT website, representing 350 products, 60 brands and 16 substantive categories. Seven batches were rejected because prohibited substances were found in them.

Number of approved certificates
Number of approved certificates
Number of rejected batches
Number of rejected batches
Year rejected because prohibited substance(s) were foundrejected because it was found to contain a pharmacological substance

Support staff

Alongside the focus on athletes, there has been rising interest in support staff in recent years. This group mainly includes the trainer-coaches, but also doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians, masseurs, soigneurs, psychologists and parents.

Education sessions in person

A total of ten education sessions were organised for approximately 200 support staff in 2021: 120 trainer-coaches, and 80 medical/paramedical support staff (including doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians). Six education sessions were organised online using Microsoft Teams or a similar program. Five of the ten sessions were for trainer-coaches and five for other categories of support staff. The trainer-coach education sessions are based on the Ongoing Education Module for Clean Sports for trainers and coaches. Doping Authority Netherlands has developed three different basic education modules for this purpose: Trainer-Coach 3, Trainer-Coach 4 and Trainer-Coach 5 (also known as Master Coach). The modules tie in with the Sport Qualification Structure. In 2021, all five education sessions for trainer-coaches were organised in this way. The five education sessions for other groups of support staff were for specific groups. Since early 2021, there has also been an Ongoing Education Module for Clean Sports for parents. This module consists of two levels: Parents Basic and Parents Advanced. No education sessions were organised specifically for parents in 2021.

Table 1.3 Overview of education sessions for support staff
Education module20172018201920202021
Trainer-Coach 336313
Trainer-Coach 433321
Trainer-Coach 5254--
Customised module1651075

E-learning platform

Doping Authority Netherlands has also developed e-learning modules for support staff. With the advent of the new Code and International Standard for Education, the content of the Trainer-Coach 3 and Trainer-Coach 4 e-learning modules has been updated. There is no longer just one module for parents, but two: Parents Basic and Parents Advanced. In addition, the e-learning modules Trainer-Coach 5 and Sports Administrators and Officials have been added to the programme. Support staff completed 1,447 more modules in 2021 than in 2020.

Table 1.4 Overview of e-learning modules completed by support staff
Education module2018201920202021
Trainer-Coach 3145108294884
Trainer-Coach 41026098405
Trainer-Coach 5---293
Parents Basic---110
Parents Advanced32245249
Medical and paramedical support staff81437108
Sports administrators and officials---79

The average user ratings for the e-learning modules were: Trainer-Coach 3 8.0, Trainer-Coach 4 8.0, Trainer-Coach 5 7.9, Parents Basic 8.1, Parents Advanced 8.3, (Para)Medical Support Staff 8.1 and Sports Administrators and Officials 8.4.

Sports associations

The sports associations are also an important target group for Doping Authority Netherlands. They are closest to the elite athletes and the support staff. Doping Authority Netherlands is in contact with the sports associations at all times.

Meeting of sports associations

The Support Clean Sports meeting (formerly known as the Association Meet/Together against Doping Meet) was organised for the twelfth time on 5 October 2021. There were 38 participants present in person. The meeting was attended online by 36 people. The participants represented sports associations, TeamNL centres and other elite sports organisations. The aim of the annual meeting is to catch up on developments in the field of anti-doping, primarily in the area of education. The average rating for the event from the participants was 7.6.

Implementation discussions for the National Education Programme

There have been discussions with the sports associations about the implementation of the National Education Programme. In 2021, there were 41 discussions with the 58 sports federations with doping regulations, during which the same number of number of implementation plans were drafted. Eleven discussions had already taken place in 2020, bringing the total at the end of 2021 to 52 of the 58 elite sports federations (90%). The sports associations received the figures on a quarterly basis relating to the number of education sessions in person and the number of e-learning modules completed by members of the sports association.

Olympic and Paralympic Games

It was agreed with NOC*NSF that all athletes and support staff going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic or Paralympic Games had to complete the following e-learning modules:

  • Athletes: Bronze, Silver and Gold
  • Technical support staff: Trainer-Coach 3, 4 and 5
  • Medical and paramedical support staff: Medical and paramedical support staff

Any certificates obtained had to date back no more than two years prior to the opening of the Games. E-learning certificates from other anti-doping organisations, such as the International Federation or WADA, were (after review by Doping Authority Netherlands) almost always considered to be valid as well. In the end, 84% of athletes and 56% of coaches met the education requirement for the Olympic Games. In total, this was 71% of all people attending the Games. In the case of the Paralympic Games, 75% of athletes and 49% of support staff met the education requirement. This amounts to a total of 61%.

Agreements were also made with NOC*NSF relating to the completion of e-learning modules by athletes and support staff who attended the Beijing 2022 Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Sport and Integrity Project

The Sport and Integrity project is an NOC*NSF project, in which Doping Authority Netherlands was to be responsible for some of the output relating to doping. The subsidy from the project came from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Three actions from the ‘doping’ part of the project plan were implemented:

  1. The development of education modules for integrity topics (such as match-fixing, intimidation and discrimination) in line with the modules already developed by Doping Authority Netherlands.
  2. The development of a basic education module for sport & integrity (live in person, live digitally and e-learning) on the basis of the modules developed.
  3. Development and pilot implementation of a train-the-trainer for 5-10 education officers from various organisations such as sports associations.

A project leader did this work under the supervision (and partly at the offices) of Doping Authority Netherlands. The project was completed in late 2021.


The objective for fitness (sports organised on other lines) 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, Doping Authority Netherlands 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. Doping Authority Netherlands 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 Doping Authority brand rather than under the True Strength banner.

True Strength

There are 3 million fitness adherents in the Netherlands. This makes fitness the most popular sporting activity in the Netherlands. However, a survey in 2009 showed that 8.2% of fitness athletes use prohibited substances. This is, in principle, permitted 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. It is therefore 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. Doping Authority Netherlands uses True Strength to inform people about the risks of using anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances, and to provide detailed information about healthy alternatives for becoming more muscular or slimmer using True Strength. That generates more knowledge and awareness. The values and norms applicable to participation in sports in line with True Strength are also confirmed.

True Strength website
True Strength website

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 prohibited substances and the side-effects, and the doping risks of nutrition supplements are discussed. The True Strength website has existed for over twenty years and it contains over 1,000 web messages and articles.

In 2021, a total of 74 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.

The True Strength website included 64 training exercises for the seven different muscle groups. They were accompanied by photos of the starting position and final position of the exercise and a textual explanation. For clarification purposes, instructional videos for all exercises were produced in 2021 and posted on the True Strength website, YouTube and Vimeo.

Social media

Through the programme’s own social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, 52 short messages were published in addition to the 74 web posts. This brought the total number of posts for True Strength to 126.

True Strength Challenge

The True Strength Challenge was launched on 1 December. That involved two experienced personal trainers coaching four athletes for six months. The aim is to show what can be done by drawing on true strength. The four athletes have different training goals: from losing weight (Slim & Fit) to preparing for a bodybuilding competition (Muscle Definition Plus). There are different themes on a monthly basis: introduction, training, diet, recovery, motivation, supplements and final results. The first videos and web messages have been published on the website. Vlogs from coaches and participants are shared through social media. The True Strength Challenge will continue in 2022.

Poster for the True Strength Challenge
Poster for the True Strength Challenge

True Strength day

The annual True Strength day was redesigned as a video production because of the COVID pandemic. The recordings were made on 30 June. The videos were posted on the True Strength website on 23 December. The videos were also publicised through the social media. The theme of the day was ‘Body Images in Fitness’.

True Strength Video

The True Strength promotional video was produced in 2021. In addition to this video, which describes the basic message of True Strength, four shorter videos were made that together convey the values of True Strength. The videos were promoted through social media using paid advertisements.

True Strength book

The Doping Authority completely rewrote the True Strength book in late 2018. The book complements the True Strength website and the Supplement Checker App. It was promoted persistently in 2021 on the website and at meetings. Approximately 300 copies of the book were sold in 2021.

The True Strength book
The True Strength book

Supplement Checker App

The Doping Authority launched the Supplement Checker App in August 2017 under the True Strength banner. Over the past decade, the market for nutrition supplements has grown explosively. Nearly 60% of fitness athletes in the Netherlands use supplements. Top athletes also use many supplements. The free Supplement Checker App helps athletes to work with supplements in a conscious and critical way. The heart of the app is a discussion and assessment of more than 3,000 ingredients.

The app has been downloaded approximately 2,500 times in one year. The Supplement Checker App was maintained continuously and expanded in 2020. In 2020, Doping Authority Netherlands wrote 100 new profiles for the Supplement Checker App. Approximately 20 profiles were also amended on the basis of new insights.

Guest lectures and meetings

In 2021, no guest lectures were organised at fitness training locations. In 2020, we managed to organise two guest lectures. The number of guest lectures was higher before the COVID pandemic. The goal is to arrange approximately 15 guest lectures annually.


The e-learning module Fitness Trainer A was completed by 49 people in 2021 (2020: 46).

Outreach Events

During outreach events, True Strength is present with a stand at fitness events in order to provide general information for large groups of elite athletes and support staff. In 2021, all planned outreach events were cancelled because of the COVID pandemic. To attract more visitors to the stand at future outreach events, a True Strength Summer Game has been developed. This is a game - similar to the traditional wire loop game - that requires a combination of strength and coordination to guide a barbell through a slot. A buzzer goes off if the barbell touches the edges.

Clean Hunks

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 20 Clean Hunks affiliated with the True Strength programme in 2021. They are all on the site, which includes background stories and photos.

Written contributions

In 2021, a contribution was published in the ‘Sportgericht’ magazine under the title ‘Supplement and doping use in Dutch gyms’. This article was written in collaboration with human-movement scientists and teachers from the HAN Hogeschool.

Book: Doping, the sober facts

Doping, the sober facts was 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 world itself. The emphasis is on information that is still too often swept under the carpet in this world. Although there is still interest in the book, there will be no second edition. The book does form the basis for the new website,, which has still to go live.

In 2019, Doping Authority Netherlands started on the development of a new website: The website consists of a database for prohibited substances and the aim is to provide policy-makers and health professionals with a source of information. The website has not yet been launched. Nevertheless, forty profiles of prohibited substances have been written for the website’s database.

Design of
Design of

Conference to commemorate the 10th jubilee of the anabolic clinic

The conference to commemorate the 10th jubilee of the anabolic clinic - aka Harm Reduction Day - took place on 16 December at the Teyler’s Museum. It was a hybrid event. It was attended by 26 people in person and 47 participants online. Of the participants, 28 completed an evaluation form. The average rating was 8.3 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The programme also scored well with an average of 4.5 (on a scale of 1 to 5).


Corporate website

The corporate website of Doping Authority Netherlands is We contributed 25 press releases of our own to the site in 2021 (2020: 26). In addition, 230 ANP press releases were posted on the site (automatically). This was more than in 2020 (201).

Doping Information Line

The Doping Information Line is the front office for all questions (by email/WhatsApp) relating to doping. It is staffed by four people working in turn. All questions are processed within one working day and recorded anonymously in a database. The email address is The mobile number, 06-11226200, is reserved exclusively for WhatsApp. Calls are not answered.

A total of 466 questions were received in 2021. That is 5% more than in 12020, when there were 442 registered questions.

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 previous years, two subjects stand out: checking whether a medicine is on the prohibited list (24.9%) and questions about nutrition supplements (36.3%).

Doping Informatielijn 2020

The percentage of questions by subject
The percentage of questions by subject
SubjectPercentage (%)
Check on medicines24.9%
TUE - Exemption procedure10.5%
NZVT - Dietary supplements36.3%
Recreational Drugs3.0%
Dopingsubstances in food1.1%
Doping control procedure4.1%
Doping regulations, miscellaneous5.2%
Doping: effects and side-effects3.4%
Diet, not dietary supplements1.7%
Substance analysis1.1%
Request for educationsessions / materials0.4%
Request for doping controls4.1%

Club sports and elite sports accounted for 79.6% of the e-questions, fitness for 4.9%, and other sectors for 13.9%. Two categories were added during 2021: general public (1.5%) and harm reduction (0.5%). There were no reports of possible doping violations, a representative of the press sent an email on five occasions, and seven questions related to an athlete who was found positive. Questions received through WhatsApp (189) accounted for 40.6% of the total.


In 2021, Doping Authority Netherlands gave six presentations that did not exactly match the target groups of elite sport or fitness described above. All six presentations were given at institutes of further education (hogescholen). See Annex 4.

Social Media

Doping Authority Netherlands is active on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 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 and educational videos.