Questions & Answers – 2012 Anti-Doping Testing Figures

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What does the 2012 Anti‐Doping Testing Figures Report represent?

This report is a compilation of the testing figures reported by WADA accredited laboratories for the year 2012. This is the first time 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 2012 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 2012.

How was the data submitted?

All data was submitted into ADAMS by the accredited laboratories. The report is the compilation of that data based on the number of samples analyzed by Testing Authority (TA)*, as well as the number of Negatives, Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF)** and Atypical Findings (ATFs)***.

*Testing Authority (TA) – Anti-Doping Organization (ADO) that initiated and authorized the test, whether an Anti-Doping Organization (for example the International Olympic Committee, a Major Event Organization, an International Sport Federation or a National Anti-Doping Organization); or another organization conducting testing pursuant to the authority of, and in accordance with, the rules of the ADO (for example a National Federation that is a member of an International Federation).

**Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) - the presence of prohibited substances or methods in samples.

***Atypical Findings (ATF) - the presence of prohibited substances or methods in samples requiring further investigation before potentially becoming an AAF.

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


This report illustrates 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). The reason the AAFs and ATFs may not correspond with the number of ADRVs is because all results are subject to a 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.

It is important to note that the number of ADRVs from an ADO’s anti-doping program may also contain non-analytical cases resulting from non-sample ADRVs listed under Article 2 of the Code. For example, whereabouts failures, refusal or failure to submit to sample collection after notification or possession of a prohibited substance etc.

Why does ADAMS not illustrate the number of ADRVs or anti-doping sanctions?

To date, the use of ADAMS is not mandatory for ADOs and, 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. For the first time, the 2012 figures incorporated all data - 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 TA).

ADAMS has the capability to record ADRVs and sanctions through organizations that are responsible for the results management process. 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 right the way 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. While the use of ADAMS is not mandatory for ADOs, WADA encourages all ADOs to take advantage of the benefits that ADAMS provides in order to further enhance the comprehensiveness of reporting in the coming years.  It should also be noted that data entered by ADOs would further enhance the ability to assess the state of the fight against doping.

WADA continues to develop the ADAMS platform for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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


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 in testosterone (i.e. tracking the testosterone level of one athlete over a period of time).

Was the 2012 data collected in a different way to 2011?


The 2012 data was collected using a different method than in 2011. The 2012 Testing Figures data was collected entirely through ADAMS (Negatives, AAFs, and ATFs), whereas the 2011 testing figures data was compiled from two sources: data provided directly by Laboratories (Negatives) and AAFs/ATFs data submitted into ADAMS. Data from organizations that are not signatories to the Code, such as the Professional Leagues, was aggregated as was the case in previous years.

In 2012, the laboratories began reporting negative data in addition to the AAFs and ATFs reported in earlier 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 report offers a much more thorough view of anti-doping data than the 2011 format. The result of the 2012 report’s enhanced data collection method is that ADOs will not be required to submit further stats for an ADO Testing Figures Report as has been the case in years gone by.

The use of ADAMS also allows the 2012 AntiDoping Testing Figures Report to differentiate the testing figures by TA 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 place of the previous method?

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, 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) and, further to this, in 2012 the ISL required the reporting of negative data into ADAMS. This resulted in the compilation of all 2012 Anti-Doping testing figures via ADAMS. 

Are there any differences in format between the 2012 and 2011 reports?


For the first time, the report includes a section that identifies specific TAs which contributed to each sport. The sports are differentiated by several major sport categories, namely Olympic sports, IOC-recognized sports and Alliance of Independent Members of SportAccord (AIMS) sports. These comprise the bulk of the data reported into ADAMS. It should be noted that while each sample recorded in ADAMS includes a Sport (as noted in the accompanying Doping Control Form), the samples reported in each Sport may belong to different TAs which could include different International Federations.  For example, the testing figures in the Olympic sport “Rugby” may include data from several disciplines such as Rugby Union, Rugby League, Beach Rugby, Touch Football, Wheelchair Rugby and Underwater Rugby.  However, the Testing Authority Tables in section 5 of the report differentiates the testing figures based on the individual TAs. ADOs using ADAMS also have the ability to further clarify testing conducted within their own testing programs.

CERA is no longer included as a separate item since it is considered that the testing of this prohibited substance is included within each EPO test conducted.

For the last few years WADA has been encouraging ADOs to conduct more blood testing and, in the 2012 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), 2011 and future years.

How do the 2012 figures compare to the 2011 figures?

In 2012 there was an increase in the number of samples - approximately 24,000 more samples were analyzed than in 2011. A total of 243,193 samples were analyzed in 2011, and 267,645 samples were analyzed in 2012.

In terms of the percentage of AAFs reported, the 2012 percentage of 1.19% is similar to 2011. Both 2011 and 2012’s AAF statistics are the highest in the last five years.

However, there was a decrease in the number of Total Findings (AAFs and ATFs combined) from 2.00% in 2011 to 1.76% in 2012. This could be attributed to an overall drop in the number of ATFs reported. With the implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport and utilization of IRMS testing, it is anticipated that the number of ATFs will continue to decrease.

It should be noted that not all 33 WADA accredited laboratories were active for the whole of 2011 and 2012. The Tunisian laboratory was suspended by WADA for most of 2011 and all of 2012 due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories.

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. These figures are associated with the major sport categories.

The Testing Figures 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 which use the North American WADA accredited Laboratories. These non-ADAMS figures originate from organizations that are not signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code. 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 were subsequently processed for further analysis in 2012 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 has been particularly useful for the purposes of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).

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

The sports listed are reported by the laboratories as they were designated on the doping control form (DCF) related to the sample, at the time of sample 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 would not only further standardize the sport/discipline, but additionally all other mandatory DCF details, thereby further minimizing discrepancies. 

In addition, while some National Sport Federations or Continental Sport Confederations conduct testing under the delegation of their relevant International Federation (IF), 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.

How were the categories in relation to National Federations determined?

Considering the large number of National Federations, any country with fewer than four National Federations(NFs) and 50 samples in total were grouped under the heading “Other National Federations”, while countries with a larger number of samples and NFs were listed separately.

As noted in the report, although National Federations (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 Agencies and International Sport Federations may delegate testing authority to these bodies. Tests attributed to NFs therefore may in some instances be part of NADO or IF programs.

How does a laboratory become WADA accredited?

The Laboratory accreditation requirements are set forth in the ISL under the World Anti-Doping Code. The purpose of the Standard and related technical documents is to ensure the production of valid test results and evidentiary data, and to achieve uniform and harmonized results from accredited anti-doping laboratories.

In January 2004 WADA assumed responsibility for accreditation and annual reaccreditation of laboratories, and developed and implemented the ISL in order to establish harmonized performance and accountability under the Code. Prior to 2004, the International Olympic Committee oversaw the anti-doping laboratories.

How does WADA monitor laboratory performance?

The WADA External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) is designed and conducted to evaluate laboratory performance as well as to improve test result uniformity between WADA accredited laboratories.

Approximately every four months, WADA distributes at least six blind EQAS samples to all accredited laboratories and probationary laboratories (accepted into the probationary phase of accreditation) for the purpose of evaluating laboratory performance. The EQAS challenge may consist of blank urines, adulterated urines, or urines containing one or more AAFs or ATFs, and can be representative of any of the drug classes within the Prohibited List. The laboratories are blind to the contents of the samples and utilize their full menu of the routine laboratory testing procedures. The results of the sample analysis and associated documentation are reported to WADA within a determined time frame.

In addition, laboratories receive at least two double blind EQAS samples per year. The samples may consist of blank urines, adulterated urines, or urines containing one or more AAFs or ATFs, and which are indistinguishable from normal testing samples. The laboratories will be unable to identify the sample as an EQAS sample which allows WADA to evaluate the routine operations of the laboratory.

WADA then evaluates the laboratory results based on the proper identification and determination of concentration, if applicable, of the target substance(s).

Satisfactory performance in the WADA EQAS Program is required to maintain WADA accreditation. Unsatisfactory performance can lead to possible actions ranging from laboratory corrective action to suspension or revocation of the accreditation depending on the severity of the non-compliance(s).

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 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 plays 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.

Why is there such a large gap between the numbers 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.  

It appears that some TAs have not recorded any samples – why is that?

The report records samples based on the date they were received by the laboratory, not the sample collection date. This means, for example, that a sample collected by a TA in late December 2012 and delivered to a laboratory in January 2013 would not be reflected in this report. Instead, it would be visible in the 2013 report.

The report includes 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. These stakeholders or TAs 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.  

How many TAs conducted ABP testing?

All WADA accredited and approved laboratories conducting blood testing in support of the ABP are required to report their results into ADAMS. 

In 2012, eighty-three (83) unique TAs (including 35 French National Federations) contributed to the ABP testing figures reported into ADAMS.

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


The number of samples analyzed is not the same as the number of athletes tested. In fact, each statistic can 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 can be collected with the typical “A” and “B” samples to report AAFs (hGH, EPO, etc), while ABP samples are collected as single samples in order to measure specified blood variables which are then compared to previous data over time from that athlete. This establishes an athlete biological profile which is therefore an indirect method that can indicate doping.

Where is the data on para-sports?

The ADAMS data based on a particular sport does not differentiate between para and non-para sports contributions. Some IFs have results management duties which include the relevant para-sport (e.g. para equestrian samples are managed by the FEI, while para-swimming samples are managed by the IPC, not FINA) while some do not. Therefore, the tables in section 5 of the report which indicate data by TA within each sport, offer the clearest method to assign the data relevant to para-sports (International Paralympic Committee, International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, etc).

Why are TA names 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 with ADAMS.

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