International Standard for Testing:
What These Changes Mean to You
There are significant changes in the WADA Code which USADA is required to implement. You will notice changes to how USADA’s anti-doping procedures will be carried out, especially regarding whereabouts information. Below is a brief overview of these changes and how they may impact you as an athlete in USADA’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP) - formerly called the Out-of-Competition Testing Pool.
Whereabouts Filing and Online Submissions
The name of the process for filing your whereabouts information has changed from Athlete Location Forms (ALF) to Whereabouts Filing.
Additionally, beginning 1st Quarter 2009, your whereabouts information can only be filed through the USADA online system. USADA is eliminating the paper reporting option for submitting a Whereabouts Filing. Requiring online submissions will benefit you in the following ways:
- Submitting a Whereabouts Filing online will help ensure that you file your whereabouts information properly, rather than forgetting one or two dates in the quarter and, therefore, receiving a Whereabouts Failure (see Whereabouts Failures – Missed Tests & Filing Failures)
- As WADA is requiring more information from you, a hardcopy form would be 6-10 pages in length. The online submission of this information decreases the amount of paper needed to properly submit your Whereabouts Filing.
The new deadlines for submitting your Whereabouts Filing will be:
1st Quarter – December 31
2nd Quarter – March 31
3rd Quarter – June 30
4th Quarter – September 30
With the new deadlines set just one day prior to the start of the new quarter, USADA hopes that athletes will know more of their whereabouts information prior to submission of their Whereabouts Filing. However, any athlete who has not submitted a complete Whereabouts Filing with USADA by the deadline date will be subject to a Filing Failure (see Whereabouts Failures).
Updates to your quarterly whereabouts information may be made through your whereabouts on-line account, by e-mail or text.
If you need to set up an account or need assistance with your username and password, you can call 1-866-601-2632 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required Whereabouts Filing Information
Beginning January 1, 2009, the information you provide for your Whereabouts Filing will remain consistent with what you currently provide. Additionally, the new standards require that you specify a 60-minute time-slot, every day, with a specific location and address at which you can be located for testing. This time can vary from day to day, but must fall within the 6AM to 11PM time range. If you are not at the location specified in your Whereabouts Filing during the 60-minute time-slot, and a Doping Control Officer attempts to notify you for Out-of-Competition Testing, it will be pursued as a Missed Test. You are accountable for being available during the entire 60-minute time-slot.
The purpose of requiring athletes to provide whereabouts information for a 60-minute time-slot every day is to strike a balance between the need to locate an athlete for testing and the impracticality and unfairness of making athletes potentially accountable for a Missed Test every time they depart from their previously-declared schedule. You must update your Whereabouts Filing to ensure that the information regarding your training, competitions, and regularly scheduled activities and 60-minute time-slot is accurate.
With this change, you have more control over when and where you will be tested. Having to stipulate where you will be during a 60-minute time-slot everyday means that you will have to be diligent about keeping your whereabouts information up-to-date. It is important to remember that the implementation of the 60-minute time-slot does not mean that you will only be tested within the 60 minutes. USADA or any other Anti-Doping Organization with the authority to test you could test you at any time.
Whereabouts Failures - Filing Failures & Missed Tests
There are three ways you can receive a Whereabouts Failure:
- You are not at the specified location during the 60-minute time-slot provided in your Whereabouts Filing when the Doping Control Officer attempts to notify and test you – this will be pursued as a Missed Test;
- You do not file your Whereabouts Filing by the specified deadline – this is known as a Filing Failure; and
- You do not file accurate or complete information to USADA in your Whereabouts Filing regarding your 60-minute time-slot or any other required whereabouts information– this could be known as a Filing Failure.
Three (3) Whereabouts Failures, which includes any combination of Missed Tests and Filing Failures recognized by any Anti-Doping Organization that has governance over testing you (including an International Federation, WADA or USADA), in any rolling 18-month period, will result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV). This enhances unity between the different anti-doping organizations within your sport. With this unity, however, it is important to remember that any Missed Test previously received by any Anti-Doping Organization is subject to be shared with other Anti-Doping Organizations with authority to test you.
Beginning January 1, 2009, the new rules will no longer allow phone calls to be made in an attempt to locate you, as is currently practiced in the United States. Being diligent about being available during your 60-minute time-slot and updating your Whereabouts Filing whenever plans change will be critical to avoiding a Whereabouts Failure.
This new rule will allow Anti-Doping Organizations world-wide to conduct TRUE no-notice testing. Additionally, this new routine will help give you control over these whereabouts obligations, which has not always been the case on a universal basis.
Currently, when notified for an In-Competition or Out-of-Competition test, athletes are required to submit 85 mls of urine to process the sample.
After January 1, 2009, the minimum amount of urine needed to process a sample will increase to 90 mls. Additionally, the pH of the sample will no longer be evaluated.
Change can be daunting, but in the end, these new measures will streamline the current processes, and make things easier for you, the athlete. It is important to remember that these changes are being implemented with athletes worldwide and will help to harmonize anti-doping efforts around the globe.
If you have any questions, please contact Kelli Feltmann, USADA Olympic Education Manager, at 719-785-2023 or via e-mail at email@example.com.