Doping controls and TUEs
One of Anti-Doping Norway’s main tasks is the planning, implementation and results management of doping controls.
Knowledge about the sports and risk assessments is imperative in order to plan and conduct efficient doping controls. Anti-Doping Norway collaborates with several laboratories, anti-doping organisations and other instances on a national and international level in order to gain more knowledge and join efforts in the global fight against doping.
Anti-Doping Norway has a pool of approx. 60-70 doping control officers covering the whole country. They are well trained and many have extensive experience in conducting doping controls, both nationally and internationally. They have close contact with the local sporting community where they live, which is of great assistance when planning and conducting doping controls and implementing education activities.
Anti-Doping Norway’s national testing programme includes top-level athletes in our national registered Testing Pool, other national top-level athletes, as well as athletes on a lower performance level such as masters or recreational athletes. We also emphasize the inclusion of young talents in our national doping control program. In this case, the deterrence effect is crucial. Our goal is that no one shall show up on a national team in a risk sport without having been tested previously.
For athletes in the registered testing pool and other national top-level athletes, the test distribution plan is based on a thorough risk assessment, blood profiles, and other investigative information. Different test strategies are developed for different sports, and on this level most of the tests are conducted out of competition. Anti-Doping Norway’s involvement in the development of Athlete Biological Passports has been significant, as we realize that indirect methods for the detection of prohibited substances are becoming as important as direct methods. All tests conducted by Anti-Doping Norway are no advance notice tests.
Most samples are taken from athletes competing at a high level and in the high risk sports where doping clearly is performance-enhancing. We also take samples of athletes who compete at a lower level, but primarily to deter and prevent drug abuse.
Anti-Doping Norway takes between 2000-3000 doping samples of Norwegian athletes a year. Between 10-15 athletes are banned for a doping offence a year. This proves that doping controls are an important tool to detect doping. At the same time, doping controls shall have a deterrent and preventive effect.
Some doping substances or methods can only be revealed in a short time window, therefore it is imperative to carry out controls at the right time. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has through its international regulations set strict requirements for all international top athletes when it comes to reporting whereabouts. Norwegian athletes competing at international level are part of the RTP, Registered Testing Pool. These athletes must follow the rules by reporting their whereabouts for every day of the year. This contributes in strengthening their own and the sport's credibility.
Anti-Doping Norway receives mission requests from other organizations on a regular basis. We carry out doping controls in Norway and abroad on behalf of other organisations, such as WADA and international federations.
Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE)
It may happen that an athlete needs to use a substance or method on the prohibited list because of a legitimate medical condition. In order for all athletes to do sports and participate in fair competition under equal conditions, rules have been developed for the use of methods or substances on the prohibited list but needed for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
In Norway, athletes have been categorised into three groups:
International top-level athletes
National top-level athletes
All other athletes member of the NOC
The requirements for TUEs differ according to which group one belongs to.
The Norwegian rules for exemptions apply to all members of the NOC and related units, and are in accordance with WADA’s international rules for TUEs.