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. 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 so a different approach is required there. Furthermore, Doping Authority Netherlands is responsible for providing the general public with information.


The COVID pandemic still had an impact to some extent on the implementation of the education policy in 2022, particularly during the first six months of the year. Nevertheless, the number and nature of the various educational activities in 2022 were again comparable to the situation before the corona pandemic.


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

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 2022, Doping Authority Netherlands organised a total of 69 education sessions for a total of approximately 1290 elite athletes. Eight sessions were organised online. The rest took place in person. This is more education sessions than last year, but fewer than in the years before the corona pandemic. However, the difference was now significantly smaller.

Table 1.1: Overview of education sessions for elite athletes
Education Session20182019202020212022

E-learning platform

In addition to sessions in person, Doping Authority Netherlands also has e-learning modules for athletes. A total of 6,042 modules were completed in 2022. This was more than in 2021 (5,180) and 2020 (3,304).

Table 1.2 Overview of completed e-learning modules for elite athletes
E-learning module20182019202020212022

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 7.8 and Gold 7.7.

The development of the e-learning platform continued in 2022. That included the redevelopment and rebuilding of the front end. Work has also begun on updating version management.


The education video about whereabouts was updated in 2022 in preparation for the increase in the number of Doping Authority Netherland’s number of testing pools effective 1 January 2023 (from one to two testing pools). Minor changes were also made to the doping control videos.

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 4,150 times in 2022 (2021: approximately 3,600 downloads). The total number of downloads was in the region of 45,000 at year-end 2022. 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.

Three new Be PROUD ambassadors joined the programme in 2022: Liesette Bruinsma, Jordy Beekwilder and Guy Mendes de Leon. Be PROUD now has a total of fifteen ambassadors. Ambassador videos were made with the new ambassadors in 2022. An ambassador video was also made featuring one of the other ambassadors (Eva Voortman).

The ambassadors are: Liesette Bruinsma (para-swimming), Jordy Beekwilder (kick boxing), Guy Mendes de Leon (bridge), 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) was 40 at year-end 2022. The number of supporters rose from 1,495 to 1,780. To promote Be PROUD, water bottles, vials of hand gel and towels were handed out in 2022.

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 2022 at the conference Blijf je stil of praat je erover? (Will you keep quiet or talk about it?) organised by Centrum Veilige Sport Nederland on 31 May. Nine Be PROUD postcards were sent during this outreach event.

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 dietary 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. Since then, the NPN and Doping Authority Netherlands have taken on all the roles (manufacturer, LGC, NPN, Doping Authority Netherlands and Wageningen Food Safety Research). Other organisations will gradually become involved in the new system at a later stage.

A total of 345 NZVT certificates were issued in 2022 (for 429 product-batch combinations). In total, on 31 December 2022, there were 1145 product-batch combinations on the NZVT website, representing 360 products, 60 brands and 16 substantive categories. Three batches were rejected in 2022 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 sports doctors, sports physiotherapists, sports dieticians and parents.

Education sessions in person

A total of 15 education sessions were organised for approximately 260 support staff in 2022: 120 trainer-coaches and 140 other support staff. One education session was organised online. Seven of the fifteen sessions were for trainer-coaches and eight 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 2022, all seven education sessions for trainer-coaches were organised in this way. The eight 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. Four education sessions were organised specifically for parents in 2022.

Table 1.3 Overview of education sessions for support staff
Education Session20182019202020212022
Trainer-Coach 363135
Trainer-Coach 433211
Trainer-Coach 554---
Customised module510754

E-learning platform

Doping Authority Netherlands has also developed e-learning modules for support staff. A total of 1,743 modules were completed in 2022.

Table 1.4 Overview of e-learning modules completed by support staff
E-learning module20182019202020212022
Trainer-Coach 3145108294884937
Trainer-Coach 41026098405303
Trainer-Coach 5---293174
Parents Basic---110161
Parents Advanced3224524934
Medical and paramedical support staff8143710878
Sports administrators and officials---7956

The average user ratings for the e-learning modules were: Trainer-Coach 3 8.0, Trainer-Coach 4 8.0, Trainer-Coach 5 8.1, Parents Basic 8.1, Parents Advanced 8.2, (Para)Medical Support Staff 8.0 and Sports Administrators and Officials 8.3.

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 thirteenth time on 4 October 2022. A total of 51 people attended. 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 7.9.

Implementation discussions for the National Education Programme

There have been discussions with the sports associations about the implementation of the National Education Programme. There were 55 discussions with the 58 sports federations with doping regulations in the period through to the end of 2022, during which the same number of number of implementation plans were drafted. There were also discussions with one sports association with doping regulations (KWbN) and with NOC*NSF. The elite 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 associations in question.

Olympic and Paralympic Games

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

  • Athletes: Gold
  • Technical support staff: Trainer-Coach 5
  • Medical and paramedical support staff: Medical and paramedical support staff

Certificates from another NADO, International Federation or WADA were also accepted.

A total of 69% of the athletes and 38% of the support staff who attended the Olympic Winter Games and 100% of the athletes and 90% of the support staff (with just one exception) who participated in the Paralympic Winter Games complied with the obligation.


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 2022, a total of 78 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 Challenge

In the True Strength Challenge, two experienced personal trainers coached four athletes for six months in 2022. There were different themes on a monthly basis: introduction, training, diet, recovery, motivation, supplements and final results. Videos were made about these areas. Interim reports on their experiences were posted on and in vlogs from the athletes and their coaches. The True Strength Challenge could also be followed on True Strength’s social media channels.

Social media

Through the programme’s own social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, 75 short messages were published in addition to the 78 web posts. This brought the total number of posts for True Strength to 153.

True Strength day

The True Strength Day was organised on 11 December 2022. The programme included the effect of social media on supplements, doping and self-image, the limits of muscle hypertrophy and two intense workshops: glute training and Tiktaalik training. There were 43 participants. Their average rating for the day was 8.7. The venue was the Van der Valk hotel in Utrecht.

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 2022 on the website and at meetings. Approximately 260 copies of the book were sold in 2022.

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 4,800 times in one year. Approximately ten profiles were also added or amended on the basis of new insights in 2022.

Guest lectures and meetings

In 2022, eight guest lectures were organised at fitness training locations for some 190 people. In 2021, no guest lectures were organised; two lectures were organised in 2020.


The e-learning module Fitness Trainer A was completed by 58 people in 2022 (2021: 49).

Outreach Events

The FitFair was at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht on 6 and 7 May 2022. This was the first fair (after several postponements) in two years. True Strength was there with a large stand and a crew of five. There was a lot of interest and more than a hundred people learnt more about True Strength during the weekend.

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 19 Clean Hunks affiliated with the True Strength programme in 2022. They are all on the site, which includes background stories and photos.

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 policymakers and health professionals with a source of information. The website has not yet been launched. However, in 2022, seven profiles of prohibited substances were written for the website’s database.

Design of
Design of


In April and May, Doping Authority Netherlands was the host of PhD student Anders Schmidt Vinther of Aarhus University, Faculty of Public Health, Denmark. He was here to investigate the motivation of clean fitness enthusiasts and doubters. He also looked at potential areas for the improvement of the True Strength programme. His final report was submitted in late May.


Corporate website

The corporate website of Doping Authority Netherlands is We contributed 14 press releases of our own to the site in 2022 (2021: 25). In addition, some 170 ANP press releases were posted on the site (automatically). That is less than in 2021 (230).

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 443 questions were received in 2022. That is 5% less than in 2021, when there were 466 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 (27.1%) and questions about nutrition supplements (36.1%).

Doping Information Line 2022

The percentage of questions by subject
The percentage of questions by subject
SubjectPercentage (%)
Check on medicines27.1%
TUE - Exemption procedure8.1%
NZVT - Dietary supplements36.1%
Recreational Drugs1.6%
Dopingsubstances in food1.6%
Doping control procedure3.6%
Doping regulations, miscellaneous3.2%
Doping: effects and side-effects5.6%
Diet, not dietary supplements2.3%
Substance analysis0.5%
Request for educationsessions / materials0.7%
Request for doping controls2.3%

Organised (elite) sports accounted for 66.3% of the questions, the general public for 16.3%, miscellaneous for 8.8%, fitness for 74% and harm reduction for 1.1%. There were two reports of possible doping violations, a representative of the press sent an email on three occasions, and there were no questions related to athletes who were found positive. Questions received through WhatsApp (163) accounted for 36.8% of the total.


In 2022, Doping Authority Netherlands gave ten presentations that did not exactly match the target groups of elite sport or fitness described above. Most of them were at institutes of higher education. 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.