Important progress in shutting down large scale doping rings has been possible thanks to major investigations led by government agencies and law enforcement in countries committed to outlawing the manufacture, trafficking and possession of doping substances.In addition, the information collected during these investigations is extremely valuable to sports and anti-doping authorities who are then able to follow-up on anti-doping violations committed by athletes and their entourage.
The challenge put before the anti-doping movement now is, in what ways can cooperation and the sharing of information—between government agencies and law enforcement on the one hand, and sport and anti-doping authorities on the other—be improved to bring greater efficiency to the fight against doping in sport.
Australia has developed a revolutionary model that solidifies cooperation between the anti-doping authority and other government agencies. In March 2006, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) was established as a government agency by federal statute.
While ASADA itself does not possess powers of compulsion or of search and seizure, other public agencies are authorized to share information with it. For example, customs officials who seize illegal substances may forward to ASADA the details of the intended recipients. With the supply of such information from other agencies, ASADA is able to identify athletes suspected of doping, and then is able to concentrate its resources on them, including targeted testing.
This new approach has been quite successful and has been subsequently adopted by other National Anti-Doping Organizations.
WADA has released guidelines to help Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) enhance their cooperation and intelligence sharing with law enforcement agencies on a global scale.
‘Guidelines for Coordinating Investigations and Sharing Anti-Doping Information and Evidence’ was presented to WADA’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board in Montreal on the weekend of May 14-15, 2011.
For some time now we have been saying that testing alone is not enough to lead the fight against doping in sport, and that ADOs need to develop stronger relationships with law enforcement agencies. This guidance document is not a model of best practice, nor is it proposed to be a formal part of the world anti-doping program, but it is designed to indicate how each agency might be approached by an ADO, and how sensible relationships can be formed – it is a guideline in that direction.
- John Fahey AC., Former WADA President
The document is the result of a series of investigations symposia held to establish a way forward in the sharing of information between government-based and -funded enforcement agencies and ADOs.
The initial symposium was hosted by the United States Olympic Committee and United States Anti-Doping Agency in Colorado Springs. It was followed by subsequent meetings in London, hosted by UK Sport, and in Sydney, hosted by Australia’s Government and Anti-Doping Agency.
The document, which contains case studies that highlight the benefits of multi-agency cooperation, was finalized at the last of the symposia in Sydney in late April, 2011.
Included in the document are case studies on the close cooperation between WADA, the International Olympic Committee and Italian Carabinieri that led to the seizure of doping items at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Also given as a case study was the highly-effective BALCO investigation in the United States, which resulted in new guidelines for sentencing anabolic steroids traffickers.
We are showing ADOs how to best harness the powers of public authorities in the fight against doping in sport - not all rules violations are analytical while there are many upstream perpetrators who fall outside sport’s jurisdiction. It is in all our interests to try and ensure that national anti-doping laws encompass all doping substances, and that any legal obstacles that prevent the sharing of information are removed.
- John Fahey AC., Former WADA President