Anti-Doping Intelligence & Investigation Project in Europe

Fostering better collaboration in Intelligence & Investigation for clean sport in Europe

In June 2022, WADA was awarded a grant by the European Commission, to increase anti-doping intelligence and investigation capacity in Europe, reduce the prevalence of doping in sport and maximize the health benefits for European youth practicing clean sport.

Project Overview

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    The Intelligence and Investigation Capability and Capacity Building project will involve around 48 countries, 51 anti-doping organizations and 48 law enforcement agencies in Europe.

    The multi-phase project runs over two years and aims to:

    • Provide online and in-person training to anti-doping organizations staff to help them increase in-house capacity with regards to intelligence and investigations
    • Support collaboration and information sharing between European National Anti-Doping Organizations' (NADOs) I&I teams and law enforcement agencies
    • Demonstrate to decision makers the importance of I&I to prevent doping in sport
    • Raise public awareness of the prevalence and threat of doping in youth amateur sports, not only among elite athletes

    The project is based on three core activities:

    • Education and Training

    • Annual Seminar for Decision Makers

    • Public Awareness Campaign

Education and Training

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    Initial training and specialized workshops will cover intelligence functions and key areas of doping investigations (Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs), prohibited substances, interviews, non-analytical cases, etc.) to increase the intelligence gathering and investigative capability in European NADOs and law enforcement agencies. We also aim to launch operational activities with NADOs and law enforcement agencies, so that theoretical learnings can be applied to investigations in real time.

    This will enable future I&I experts to manage intelligence effectively and conduct their own investigations. The impact for clean sport will be that more non-analytical ADRVs are discovered and prosecuted as cases, removing from sport those that are exposed for doping. 

Annual Seminar for Decision Makers

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    It is important to raise awareness, among decision makers such as ministries of sport, health and justice, and leadership of European anti-doping organizations, of doping in sport and the associated crimes committed.

    On an annual basis, WADA will organize a high-level seminar with partners such as Interpol and Europol, which targets such ministries and ADOs. In 2022, we held an information session at WADA's Annual Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland. In March 2023, we plan to organize a seminar for decision makers to demonstrate the importance of investigation and intelligence gathering. We will conclude the project in 2024 with a conference where all training participants will discuss outcomes and next steps of an international network of investigators, intelligence analysts and confidential sources managers, to strengthen collaboration and exchange of information. More information will be shared on this initiative as the project progresses.

Public Awareness Campaign

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    While doping is generally viewed as a problem in elite sport, it is also a threat to public health and society at large, especially to youth. Today, society is confronted with:

    •    Steroid use in schools
    •    Amateur athletes doping in recreational sports events
    •    Young people taking steroids in a bid to 'look good'
    •    Presence of criminal underworld in trafficking prohibited substances
    •    Unregulated supply of non-sanitized drugs through the internet
    •    Doping substances are very easy to access with limited penalties for both the consumer and the trafficker

    We will develop a campaign that engages stakeholders and the European public at large, raising awareness of our Play True message and the importance of clean sport for the benefit of all. More information will be shared on this initiative as the project progresses.

About this pilot project

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    This 2-years project, implemented since June 2022, was selected by the EU following a call for proposals for EU pilot projects for Building capacity to better fight doping in sport in Europe (May 2021, Call reference: PPPA-SPORT-2021-FIGHT-DOPING ; Project reference: 101050036 - Anti-Doping Intelligence and Investigations Capacity and Capability Building in Europe). 

    The regulatory framework for this EU Funding Programme is set out in: 

    • Regulation 2018/1046 (EU Financial Regulation) 
    • Commission Decision C(2021)1658 on the adoption of the 2021 Work Programme for the implementation of pilot projects and preparatory actions in the area of education, sport and culture 

    Pilot projects (PP) and Preparatory Actions (PA) introduce new initiatives that might turn into standing EU funding programmes. A Pilot Project is an initiative of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility of an action and its usefulness and lasts not more than two years. The implementation of the pilot project will take due regard to complementarity with the EU Erasmus Sport programme.

    As mentioned in the call for proposals, the main objectives of the WADA Project II CAP BUILDING are: 

    • to develop a set of complementary measures and activities that would address the issues mentioned above and that would be concretely beneficial to a maximum number of European ADOs and more globally to the anti-doping system; 
    • to allow for ADOs to partner with WADA to conduct investigations, protect whistleblowers and to cooperate on joint investigations with law enforcement agencies and the global network of investigators; 
    • to build capacity of the European anti-doping system, reduce the prevalence of doping in sport and maximize the health benefits generated by the practice of clean sport by the European youth.