23 November 2020

WADA issues revised TDSSA version to come into force on 1 January 2021

Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes version 6.0 of the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA) that was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) during its virtual meeting on 11 November 2020 and will come into effect on 1 January 2021.

The TDSSA came into effect initially on 1 January 2015 and is a mandatory document that must be implemented by all Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs). The TDSSA contains a Minimum Level of Analysis (MLA) represented as a percentage, which all ADOs shall apply to the number of tests they plan to conduct on sports and disciplines included in their Test Distribution Plans (TDPs) for the following prohibited substances:

  • Erythropoietin-Receptor Agonists (EPOs);
  • Growth Hormone (GH); and
  • Growth Hormone Releasing Factors (GHRFs).

WADA’s Strategic Testing Expert Group (STEG), previously known as the TDSSA Expert Group, met virtually on 16 September 2020 and recommended the following areas of amendment to the WADA ExCo.

1. Changes to reflect the revised 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and 2021 International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI).

Version 6.0. of the TDSSA includes textual changes that streamline it with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and the 2021 ISTI.

2. The term ‘ESAs’ is replaced by the term ‘EPOs’.

In order to be in line with the terminology used in the 2021 Prohibited List, the term ‘ESAs’ is replaced by the term ‘EPOs’ in TDSSA version 6.0. The acronym ‘EPOs’ is used to describe the substances included under the category S.2.1.1 (Erythropoietin-Receptor Agonists) of the 2021 Prohibited List and analyzed according to the applicable WADA Technical Document for EPO in force.

3. Applications for flexibility to be valid for two years and existing applications to be reviewed.

With respect to the applications for flexibility, the initial period of approval for new applications will now become two years. WADA will develop an easy and user-friendly process for renewal, should the ADO request an extension. ADOs with existing applications will be contacted by WADA to confirm if their applications are still valid and if there is a need for extension.

4. TDSSA Supporting Document A ‘Application for Flexibility to the Minimum Levels of Analysis’ to become obsolete and be replaced by TDSSA Supporting Document A ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Since the beginning of 2020, WADA had developed a user-friendly online system within its Code Compliance Center (CCC) platform through which an ADO can complete its self-assessment and submit its application for flexibility electronically to WADA along with supporting documents; such as: its Risk Assessment, TDP and Registered Testing Pool. From 1 January 2021, the current TDSSA Supporting Document A, which includes an application for flexibility in paper format, will be made obsolete. ADOs will only be able to apply for flexibility electronically; and, the only TDSSA Supporting Document in the TDSSA version 6.0 will be the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document which will be known as ‘TDSSA Supporting Document A Frequently Asked Questions’.

5. Minor changes in some sports and disciplines

Following a request from two International Federations, the description of their disciplines is updated in the TDSSA version 6.0. These are included in Appendices 1 and 2 of the TDSSA.

TDSSA monitoring tool in WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS)

ADOs are encouraged to monitor their implementation of the TDSSA MLAs through the new monitoring tool in ADAMS. This monitoring tool provides ADOs the opportunity to review their TDSSA data in real time, identify any shortfalls, and adjust their testing program accordingly.

While the updated TDSSA Supporting Document A ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ is available on WADA’s website, should ADOs have any questions or comments regarding the TDSSA, they should feel free to contact WADA at tdssa@wada-ama.org.