Questions & Answers – 2013 Anti-Doping Testing Figures

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What does the 2013 Anti‐Doping Testing Figures Report represent?

This Report compiles the testing figures reported by WADA accredited laboratories for the year 2013. This is the second time that these figures have been compiled entirely from the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), the system through which all WADA accredited laboratories report their positive and negative findings. In using ADAMS, the 2013 Testing Figures Report offers the most robust and transparent reflection of the global state of anti-doping testing to date. There were 33 WADA accredited laboratories for the majority of 2013.

What figures are included in the report?

The figures include all analyses conducted by the 33 WADA accredited laboratories for in- and out-of-competition testing and by the two additional laboratories that have been approved by WADA to conduct blood testing exclusively for the purposes of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). These figures are associated with the sport categories noted below.

The Laboratory Report also includes some data which has not been submitted individually into ADAMS, but instead has been aggregated and included in the overall testing figures. This has allowed a year-to-year comparison of overall figures. These aggregated figures are primarily comprised of professional and university testing programs conducted by organizations which are not signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code and which use the North American WADA accredited laboratories (e.g. the NCAA and Major Leagues). Due to confidentiality provisions in their service contracts with laboratories, these organizations do not permit the reporting of individual data in ADAMS.

Also included are samples which were collected during past events, stored and then subsequently processed for further analysis in 2013 as is permitted by the ISL and the Code.

Finally, the report features expanded blood data including the number of blood samples analyzed by the laboratories, the tests conducted and the sports involved. This data is particularly useful for the purposes of the ABP.

 

How do the 2013 figures compare to the 2012 figures?

Based on all test results reported into ADAMS (urine, blood and blood Athlete Biological Passport results), there was an increase in the number of samples. Considering each as a separate “sample”, then approximately 6,500 more samples were analyzed in 2013 than in 2012. Most accredited laboratories had a slight increase in the total number of overall samples recorded in 2013 compared to 2012 in ADAMS.        

In terms of the Adverse Analytical Findings* (AAFs) reported, the 2013 percentage of 1.31% is higher than the 1.19% in 2012. The percentage of AAFs in 2013 is the highest recorded since 2008 when the number of AAFs reported was compiled separately from the number of Atypical Findings** (ATFs).

In addition, there was an increase in the percentage of Total Findings (AAFs and ATFs combined) from 1.76% in 2012 to 2.21% in 2013. The percentage of Total Findings in 2013 is also the highest recorded since the first WADA report in 2003.

With the implementation and utilization of the Steroidal Module of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and IRMS testing, it is anticipated that the number of ATFs will decrease in the future.

*Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) – as defined in the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code: A report from a laboratory or other WADA-approved entity that, consistent with the International Standard for Laboratories and related Technical Documents, identifies in a Sample the presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers (including elevated quantities of endogenous substances) or evidence of the Use of a Prohibited Method.

**Atypical Findings (ATF) - as defined in the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code: A report from a laboratory or other WADA-approved entity which requires further investigation as provided by the International Standard for Laboratories or related Technical Documents prior to the determination of an Adverse Analytical Finding.

 

How many Testing Authorities* (TAs) are included?

The 2013 Anti-Doping Testing Figures in ADAMS include data from 643 different Testing Authorities, nearly half of which were National Federations (NFs). Although NFs themselves are not signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code - and therefore not entitled to authorize testing independently - the rules of some National Anti-Doping Organizations and International Sport Federations may delegate testing authority to these bodies.  As a result, tests attributed to NFs may in some instances be part of NADO or IF programs. 

*Testing Authority (TA) –. As defined in the ISL version 7.0: The Anti-Doping Organization that has authorized a particular test. For example, the International Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Agency, International Federation, National Sport Organization, National Anti-Doping Organization, National Olympic Committee, Major Event Organization, or other authority defined by the Code responsible for authorizing Sample Testing either In-Competition or Out-of-Competition.

 

Why are Testing Authorities (TA) included in several different formats and languages?

The ADAMS data was compiled and appears in the report exactly as the TA name is registered in ADAMS.  TAs are encouraged to file any corrections or updates in relation to their organizational name or contacts within their ADAMS account.

Which disciplines and sports organizations are included within the sports listed?

The sports and disciplines listed are reported by the laboratories as they were designated on the doping control form (DCF) relating to the sample at the time of its collection. The sport codes in ADAMS ensure that all laboratories are reporting sports in a more standardized manner, as in prior years there were some generic sport descriptions that varied from country to country (e.g. football/soccer and ice/field hockey). The use of ADAMS by ADOs to enter DCF information not only further standardizes the sport/discipline, but additionally all the other mandatory DCF details, thereby further minimizing any discrepancies.

WADA has initiated a review of the ADAMS sport/discipline codes in consultation with the relevant IFs in order to facilitate more precise data entry and reporting in ADAMS. IFs are encouraged to file any corrections or updates in relation to sports and disciplines under their governance to the ADAMS team. 

In addition, while some National Sport Federations or Continental Sport Confederations conduct testing under the delegation of their relevant IFs, others initiate testing independently of their IF. In the latter case, the test does not appear in the IF statistics, but rather in the Confederation testing statistics providing they were noted as the TA.

Why is there a discrepancy in the number of samples analyzed by the different laboratories?

The number of samples analyzed by any particular laboratory depends primarily on the development of the national anti-doping program in the associated region. The number of international events hosted by the region, as well as the anti-doping programs associated with professional leagues and sports organizations outside of the Olympic movement, also play a role.

 

Why do some laboratories show a higher number of AAFs and ATFs than others?

The percentage of AAFs and ATFs from laboratory to laboratory may be attributed to many factors, including the extent to which the national anti-doping program conducts no advance notice testing, the type of sports within the laboratory’s testing population, as well as the lists of prohibited substances from sports organizations and professional leagues outside the Olympic movement.

Do laboratories have to analyze a minimum number of samples?

The ISL requires that a WADA accredited laboratory performs analysis on a minimum of 3,000 (including urine and blood) samples per year. Any accredited laboratory that does not meet this figure is monitored closely by WADA.

Why is there such a large gap between the number of samples analyzed for in-competition as opposed to out-of-competition?

By its very nature, the in-competition menu contains more drug classes and therefore more prohibited substances that could be reported, particularly substances such as stimulants, cannabinoids and glucucorticosteroids, which are typically reported in greater numbers.

The reports include non-ADAMS data – what does this represent?

The non-ADAMS figures comprise Professional and University testing programs that use the North American WADA accredited laboratories as well as stored samples that have undergone further analysis. These stakeholders or Testing Authorities are not signatories to the Code and do not allow the WADA accredited laboratories to report their individual results into ADAMS. However, the laboratories are permitted to report these results as aggregated data, as has been the case in previous years.

Do the numbers of Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) and Atypical Findings (ATFs) reflect the number of sanctions (Anti-Doping Rule Violations)?

No.

These reports illustrate the number of AAFs and ATFs reported by laboratories. This may not correspond with the number of Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) reported by Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs). All results are subject to the results management process conducted by ADOs, which includes matching results with Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) (through which the use of a banned substance can be approved by an ADO for legitimate medical reasons) and longitudinal studies.

Why doesn’t ADAMS illustrate the number of ADRVs or anti-doping sanctions?

To date, the use of ADAMS is not mandatory for ADOs. As a result, ADAMS cannot yet provide a full picture of the number of ADRVs or anti-doping sanctions.

ADAMS has evolved considerably since its inception in 2005. As in 2012, the 2013 figures incorporated all data from laboratory results - both positive and negative – from ADAMS, and the assignment of each result to a Testing Authority (TA). These advances now allow the compilation of more detailed information than before (e.g. in-competition, out-of-competition and, importantly, by discipline and TA).

ADAMS has the capability to record ADRVs and sanctions by results management authorities. ADAMS also has the capability to record sample collection information and athlete profiles all within a secure and World Anti-Doping Code-compliant environment. This information is not reflected in this report because the figures were compiled with data entered by the WADA accredited laboratories and not data that is in the hands of ADOs.

These functions are available to all ADOs at no cost. With the full adoption of ADAMS by ADOs, the sporting community would have a transparent means for tracking results from collection to sanction, while respecting confidentiality. In addition, a complete analysis of data would be available, including linking AAFs to TUEs and sanctioned cases.

Is ADAMS use mandatory?

The use of all functions of ADAMS is not currently mandatory for ADOs, however certain elements such as reporting of testing on Registered Testing Pool (RTP) athletes and operating an Athlete Biological Passport program remain mandatory. The 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, which will take effect on 1 January 2015, strengthens these requirements by making it mandatory for all ADOs to use ADAMS or a system approved by WADA. This will enhance the availability of anti-doping statistics even further.

In the meantime, WADA strongly encourages all ADOs to take advantage of the benefits that ADAMS provides in order to further enhance the comprehensiveness of reporting. It should also be noted that Athlete and Sample Collection data entered into ADAMS by ADOs would further enhance the ability to assess the state of the fight against doping.

Does each single statistic in the report represent an individual athlete?

No, one result does not necessarily correspond to one athlete. AAFs and ATFs in the report may correspond to multiple findings on the same athlete, or measurements performed on the same athlete, such as in cases of longitudinal studies for testosterone (i.e. tracking the testosterone level of one athlete over a period of time).

How was the data submitted?

All data was submitted into ADAMS by the accredited laboratories. The reports are the compilation of that data based on the number of samples analyzed by Testing Authority (TA), as well as the number of Negatives, AAFs and ATFs.

Was the 2013 data collected in a different way to 2012?

No, the 2013 data was collected using ADAMS, as was the case in 2012. The 2013 Reports include further details such as compilation by discipline. Data from organizations that are not signatories to the Code, such as the Professional Leagues, was aggregated as per previous years. Since 2012, the laboratories began reporting negative data in addition to the AAFs and ATFs reported in previous years. This has allowed all data - negatives as well as AAFs and ATFs - to be collated in ADAMS. The ADAMS reporting method is the reason that the 2012 and 2013 Reports offer a much more thorough view of anti-doping data than the previous format.

The use of ADAMS also allows the 2013 AntiDoping Testing Figures Reports to differentiate the testing figures by discipline, Testing Authority as well as in-competition and out-of-competition testing. This offers stakeholders a more detailed view of the worldwide fight against doping in sport.

Why has ADAMS been used for this year’s report?

 

In 2005 WADA began the roll-out of ADAMS, a web-based database management tool for athletes and ADOs. ADAMS is a platform for results management, the administration of TUEs, athlete whereabouts information and test distribution planning. In 2009, all laboratories began reporting their AAFs and ATFs into ADAMS pursuant to the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL). Further to this, in 2012 the ISL required the reporting of negative data into ADAMS. This resulted in the compilation of all 2012 and 2013 Anti-Doping testing figures via ADAMS. 

Are there any differences in format between the 2013 and 2012 reports?

Yes.

Sport and Sport Disciplines

For the first time, the Reports include data from each discipline that contributes to the totals for each sport. Therefore the sports data is now differentiated by those disciplines which are included within the associated International Federation’s (IF) governance based on the structure provided by the sport-discipline codes in ADAMS (as determined by the IF). As a result, the Olympic sport figures in Table 1 no longer include sports within the Olympic program emanating from University or Professional sport disciplines, and only include those disciplines that are likely under the governance of the relevant International Federation, thus providing more accurate data than previously with respect to the relevant International Federations.

For example, the testing figures in the Olympic sport “Rugby” include only data from the disciplines Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens which are under the auspices of the International Rugby Board. Other disciplines categorized under Rugby such as Rugby League, Beach Rugby, Touch Football are included in “Other Sports”.  Furthermore, the Testing Authority Tables in ”the Testing Authority” Report clearly differentiate the TAs that contributed to the Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens data (e.g. International Rugby Board, each NADO, etc). ADOs using ADAMS also have the ability to further clarify testing conducted under the umbrella of their organization.

Sports for Athletes with an Impairment

The Sports categories in this Report have been expanded from 2012 to include "International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sports" and "Sports for Athletes with an Impairment" in addition to the categories "Olympic sports", "IOC recognized sports", “AIMS sports” (Alliance of Independent Members of SportAccord, i.e. non-IOC recognized sports which are members of SportAccord) and "Other sports". These comprise the bulk of the data reported into ADAMS. It should be noted that while each sample recorded in ADAMS includes sport and discipline (as noted in the accompanying Doping Control Form), the samples reported in each sport may belong to different Testing Authorities which could include different International Federations. 

EPO

While EPO testing figures in urine were compiled the same way as previous reports, the status of EPO tests (including CERA) conducted in blood could not be compiled in 2013 since the ADAMS structure to report this testing was not available in a standardized way.   Future reports, however, will be able to compile this information from an updated version of ADAMS. For the last few years WADA has been encouraging ADOs to conduct more blood testing and, in the 2013 Report, the number of blood tests carried out is included. As a result, the anti-doping community will now be able to compare blood testing figures between 2010 (when the blood data was first compiled) and subsequent years.

hGH

At the time of report compilation, there was a lower number of hGH test results recorded into ADAMS for blood samples received in 2013 by the Laboratories when compared to the 2012 Report. This is likely to be due to the delay of hGH testing and reporting the new decision limits were established earlier in 2014. WADA encouraged Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) to continue collecting samples for analysis and expects that the test results will be reported by the Laboratories shortly since the new hGH decision limits have only been recently established.

How many TAs conducted ABP testing?

All WADA accredited laboratories which were accredited to perform blood analyses in support of the ABP analyzed and reported results for ABP samples into ADAMS. In addition, one of the two laboratories that have been approved by WADA to analyze blood samples exclusively for the ABP analyzed and reported results into ADAMS.  The total number of blood samples analyzed and collected for the ABP continued to rise in 2013. There were 95 unique TAs that contributed to the ABP testing figures reported into ADAMS (compared to 83 TAs that contributed to the 2012 ABP figures).

How do you explain the important increase in ABP program adoption in 2013?

In 2013, 21 of the 25 WADA accredited laboratories that conducted ABP sample analysis saw an increase in the number of blood samples received for the ABP. This suggests that the increase in ABP testing numbers was consistent worldwide.

Does the number of ABP samples reflect the number of athletes tested within the ABP?

No, the number of samples analyzed is not the same as the number of athletes tested. The ABP program aims to include multiple findings on the same athlete, or measurements performed on the same athlete for longitudinal studies.

Why are the reported blood samples exclusive of those taken for the ABP?

Blood samples are collected with the typical “A” and “B” samples to report AAFs (hGH, EPO, etc), while ABP samples can be collected as single samples in order to measure specified blood variables which are then compared to previous data over time from that particular athlete. This establishes an athlete biological profile, and therefore offers an indirect method that can indicate doping.