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FIS FACT SHEET: Update on FIS Anti-Doping Activities
15th December 2008 //--This FIS Fact Sheet is intended to provide an update on FIS Anti-Doping Activities during the 2008/09 competition season. The fight against doping continues to be an important focus area for FIS, which vehemently maintains its zero-tolerance policy on doping and cheating in sport.
1. Compliance with new World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code
The FIS Congress 2008, which convened in Cape Town (RSA) in May 2008, ratified the revised WADA Code, making FIS one of the first international federations (IFs) to do so. Following the publication of the revised Code and the associated Standards, such as the International Standards for Testing (IST), FIS amended its Anti-Doping Rules to comply with the new Code that will be effective as of 1st January 2009.
The new WADA Code implied changes to a number of areas thanks to the experiences of the original Code that has been in place since 2004. There is now greater provision for flexibility in the event of sanctioning taking into account the specific circumstances and nature of the violation in each particular case. The possibility exists for the period of ineligibility to be four years for a first doping offence. Other changes relate to practical aspects concerning the provision of athlete whereabouts information and therapeutic exemption applications.
2. Out-of-Competition testing program
Central to the FIS testing programme is specific target testing, especially out-of-competition. Recording high numbers of conducted tests, such as by regularly testing all or large numbers of athletes at FIS World Cup events does not necessarily translate into more success in finding athletes who may be doping. Effective testing is a question of using intelligent information to conduct doping controls at the right time and place.
The new WADA Code mandates an out-of-competition testing programme on all IFs. Thanks to its long-term efforts to develop an intelligent targeted testing strategy, FIS will continue to enhance its current programme, which includes monitoring of all athletes in its International Testing Pool (a total of approximately 650 athletes) and enhanced surveillance should abnormal values be detected.
As of 1st December 2008, FIS has conducted out-of-competition tests during the current season, starting on 1st May 2008, as follows:
Cross-Country: 121 Urine tests (of which 106 include EPO analysis) and 389 blood tests
In addition, during the same time period, WADA has conducted the following numbers of out-of-competition tests:
Alpine: 7 Urine tests and 5 blood tests (of which 4 include hGH analysis)
These numbers do not include the out-of-competition tests conducted by the National Anti-Doping Organisations under their responsibility.
To view number of tests conducted during the 2007/2008 season, please refer to:
3. Longitudinal haematological profiling / FIS Blood Profiling Programme
FIS has been following the development of various biological parameters among its athletes within the International Testing Pool since the establishment of the FIS Blood Profiling Programme from the 2001/2002 season. At its meeting at Levi (FIN) in November, the FIS Council approved amendments to the FIS Anti-Doping Rules in regard to longitudinal haematological profiling (blood testing) to ensure that the FIS programme is at the forefront of testing.
The FIS Blood Profiling Programme serves to help detect blood doping as provided for in article 5.3.1 of the FIS Anti-Doping Rules. Athletes with aberrant variations in key hematologic values are excluded from competition according to the criteria under article B.4 of the rules. In addition to the existing 5 day start prohibition for elevated haemoglobin concentrations of equal to or exceeding 17.0 for men and 16.0 for ladies, a 14 day start prohibition has been introduced in the new rules for an athlete showing an abnormal haemoglobin z-score, off-score model or Bayesian model.
In practice FIS already has the Athlete Passport in place. The fundamental principle is based on monitoring an athlete's biological parameters to detect abnormal variations that indirectly reveal the effects of doping, as opposed to the traditional direct detection of doping.
4. Overall FIS Anti-Doping Program, Season 2008/2009
The overall investment by FIS in its Anti-Doping programme during the 2008/2009 season amounts to approximately CHF 1.5 million (compared with CHF 1 million in 2007/2008). This includes both the in- and out-of-competition testing programmes and various preventive, informational and educational efforts
As is traditionally the case, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships involve one of the largest anti-doping programmes of any international major sports events outside of the Olympic Winter Games. The 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE) will be no exception, entailing pre-competition blood testing, post-competition doping controls (as per FIS rules this will include the top 4 plus 2 at random) and out-of-competition testing prior to the event in conjunction with the WADA. Similar programmes were conducted before the FIS Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007 as well as the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and 2006.
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FIS FACT SHEET: FIS Medical and Anti-Doping Activities
FIS FACT SHEET: WADA-supported haemoglobin variation study in elite Cross-Country skiers