Who can be tested?
The anti-doping rules apply to all athletes who hold a license or membership of a club or federation affiliated with Swiss Olympic. They also apply to athletes participating in competitions held by such organizations. This means that all of these athletes may be selected for testing at any time.
There is no minimum age for doping controls, meaning that athletes who are still minors may also be tested, albeit subject to special protective measures owing to their age. Minors and their parents should be familiar with the associated rights and obligations.
Who is permitted to conduct tests?
In Switzerland, most testing is conducted by Antidoping Switzerland. However, other countries’ anti-doping organizations, International Sports Federations, and certain sports organizers may also test their athletes or have them tested. Antidoping Switzerland is regularly engaged by such organizations to handle testing in Switzerland on their behalf.
When are tests conducted?
There are no real time limits for conducting doping controls, and they may also be scheduled in the early morning or at night. Where timing is concerned, a distinction is made between “in-competition” and “out-of-competition”. A doping control is considered as “in competition” if it is carried out during the period from 23:59 on the day before a competition through the end of such competition and the sample collection process related to such competition. All other time periods are deemed to be “out-of-competition”. This is an important distinction, because more substances are prohibited during the “in-competition” period.
Where are tests conducted?
Tests may be conducted anywhere: At home, at the training venue, in the workplace, or at school. Anything is possible.
The Antidoping Switzerland anti-doping control system centers around the planning and coordination of testing in top-level sport. Tests are organized both in and out of competition in order to protect clean athletes.
Individual athletes and teams at the national and international performance levels are assigned to whereabouts pools. They must submit reports on their whereabouts. The information that they provide about their location simplifies the planning and conduct of unannounced tests.
Testing is carried out by trained specialist personnel, known as doping control officers (DCO). The procedure is laid down clearly in the Regulatory Statutes. Athletes are required to follow the instructions of the doping control officers.
The samples that have been collected may be analyzed exclusively by a WADA-accredited laboratory. In addition to proving the presence of prohibited substances directly, the results of the analysis are registered and interpreted in long-term profiles, known as the athlete biological passport (ABP).
The laboratory informs the competent anti-doping organization of the results of the analysis. Antidoping Switzerland will then notify all athletes who have been tested of the findings within four to six weeks. If the results of the analysis are positive, further information will be obtained from those concerned.