WHAT ARE WHEREABOUTS?
Whereabouts are information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes about their location to the IFBB or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) that included them in their respective registered testing pool as part of these top elite athletes’ anti-doping responsibilities.
WHY ARE WHEREABOUTS IMPORTANT FOR CLEAN SPORT?
Because out-of-competition doping controls can be conducted without notice to athletes, they are one of the most powerful means of deterrence and detection of doping and are an important step in strengthening athlete and public confidence in doping-free sport. Accurate whereabouts information is crucial to ensure efficiency of the anti-doping programs, which are designed to protect the integrity of sport and to protect clean athletes.
The concept of out-of-competition is not new. Experience has shown that out-of-competition testing is crucial to the fight against doping, in particular because a number of prohibited substances and methods are detectable only for a limited period of time in an athlete’s body while maintaining a performance-enhancing effect. The only way to perform such testing is by knowing where athletes are, and the only way to make it efficient is to be able to test athletes at times at which cheaters may be most likely to use prohibited substances and methods.
WHERE CAN WHEREABOUTS RULES BE FOUND?
Whereabouts rules are part of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI). The ISTI is mandatory for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs, including IFs, NADOs, Major Games Organizers, etc.) that have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports).
ARE ALL ATHLETES SUBJECT TO THESE WHEREABOUTS REQUIREMENTS?
No, whereabouts requirements are for the limited number of top-level athletes who are in the registered testing pool of either their IF or NADO. They were designed to give those top-level athletes a flexible tool to show their commitment to doping-free sport, as well as appropriate, sufficient and effective privacy protection.
WADA is not responsible for deciding who should be part of these registered testing pools. International Federations are afforded discretion as to who should be subject to these provisions internationally, and NADOs are afforded discretion to create a registered testing pool at the national level. It is WADA’s recommendation that registered testing pools be of proportionate and manageable size and focus on top international and national elite athletes.
DO ATHLETES HAVE TO PROVIDE AND UPDATE THEIR WHEREABOUTS INFORMATION THEMSELVES?
Athletes can have their agent or another representative submit their whereabouts information if they wish to. In team sports, whereabouts information can be submitted by team officials on a collective basis as part of the team’s activities.
However, athletes are ultimately responsible for their whereabouts. As a result, they cannot avoid responsibility by blaming their representative or the team for filing inaccurate information about their whereabouts or for not updating their whereabouts if they were not at the location specified by them during the 60-minute time-slot.
DO ANTI-DOPING ORGANIZATIONS ONLY TEST ATHLETES WHO ARE SUBJECT TO WHEREABOUTS REQUIREMENTS?
No, whereabouts requirements are a practical tool to help ADOs conduct effective out-of-competition testing. Irrelevant of whether they have been selected to be part of a registered testing pool, athletes can still be tested out-of-competition by their IF, their NADO or other ADOs.
Athletes should email firstname.lastname@example.org should they require access to ADAMS.
IFBB Registered Testing Pool (RTP) athletes that are no longer competing in sport and have decided to retire are required to complete a Retirement Notification Form to request their name to be removed from the IFBB’s RTP. Once the athlete completes and signs the document, they are to submit the form electronically to the email address listed at the bottom of the form. Athletes remain subject to the IFBB’s Anti-Doping Rules until the IFBB confirms in writing that the Retirement Notification Form has been received and the athlete has been removed from the RTP.
RETIRED ATHLETES RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Athletes who have retired from sport and then decide that they want to return to the sport are required to provide the IFBB with written notice of their intent to return and make themselves available for testing for a period of six-months before returning to Competition. WADA, in consultation with IFBB and the Athlete’s National Anti-Doping Organization, may grant an exemption to the six-months written notice rule where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an Athlete.
Athletes who have retired from sport while subject to a period of Ineligibility are required to provide the IFBB with written notice of their intent to return to competition and make themselves available for testing for a period six months (or notice equivalent to the period of Ineligibility remaining as of the date the Athlete retired, if that period was longer than six months).
GOOD TO KNOW
Filing Failures (FFs) can happen from Missed Tests and Whereabouts Failures (failure to provide sufficient information or not provide information on time) – three FFs over a 12-month period constitute a possible anti-doping rule violation. Such a violation brings with it a sanction of between one and two years ineligibility depending on the gymnast’s degree of fault.
Testing can be conducted at any time, in or outside the one-hour slot. However, ‘missed tests’ will not be applicable for unsuccessful attempts outside the one-hour slot. Athletes may submit last minutes modifications by SMS.
The ADAMS Whereabouts tutorial on how to submit whereabouts information is available on WADA’s YouTube channel.