Does a ‘whereabouts’ order locate cheats or destroy athletes? There needs to be a radical rethink of how we are going to pledge competition is drug free

  • Sports Ethics Anti-Doping Adviser Michele Verroken analyses a ‘whereabouts’ complement and a effectiveness
  • The routine has come into concentration following Sportsmail revelations that Lizzie Armitstead missed 3 drugs tests  

Michele Verroken For Mailonline


Is this ‘whereabouts’ complement designed to locate cheats or to destroy athletes?

I trust a avocation of anti-doping is to assistance athletes denote that they are drug-free, though during a impulse we have an unsound complement that – during misfortune – suspects everybody.

The ‘whereabouts’ system, where athletes have to record in fact where they will be each day on an online database, places a complicated weight on them that can confuse from foe and training.

Olympic athletes have to make certain they are complying with a 'whereabouts' rule

Olympic athletes have to make certain they are complying with a ‘whereabouts’ rule

It is overly-prescriptive in a approach it tries to find athletes in a one hour timeslot and exam them, formulating some-more obstacles than means to grasp drug-free sport.

We do not seem to be training that it is not fit for purpose to assistance us emanate a strong anti-doping system.

Because athletes’ information has to be common over a internet there can be so many problems that forestall contrast programmes being effective; skip of signal, phone battery going dead, or even switching their phone off to get some sleep! 

Testing systems contingency be improved designed to support and assistance purify athletes.

For me ‘whereabouts’ has not altered a skip of confidence, or trust, a ubiquitous open or a athletes have in a doping control system. Suspicion about athletes doping still exists.

Instead of perplexing to indicate a finger during athletes, there needs to be a radical rethink of how we are going to pledge competition is drug giveaway and how athletes can denote their repute as ‘clean’.

Governing bodies are put in a tough position when an contestant wants to plea a anti-doping system, in sold a missed test. Often they might be not done wakeful one of their athletes has an emanate and, if they are, should they support their member, and in what way? If a ruling physique is seen to side with an contestant who is charged with a doping violation, afterwards they are indicted of being partial of a problem.

What we contingency do is educate. Competitors have to know what has left wrong and how to equivocate this function again. Some sports bodies are pro-active with athletes who skip a test, though it is not a unchanging use for all sports.

Something we do is remind athletes to devise a odds of being tested and make updating ‘whereabouts’ a normal partial of their day. Governing bodies should do this too.

Unfortunately, a fact that an contestant has upheld a exam one day, does not pledge they will pass it a next. Such is a guess around use of masking agents – creation something we are holding undetectable – and micro-dosing, regrettably it is a outrageous lottery.

Part of a problem is a anti-doping complement is not delivering a design of satisfactory and purify sport, as it should be.

What is a answer? Well, if we have a record so that athletes themselves can contention a daily array of DNA samples, of possibly saliva, blood (dried blood spot) and/or urine, and we select a ones we analyse, maybe that’s what we should be doing.

But during a impulse ‘whereabouts’ is an unsound complement for traffic with something that leaves outrageous gaps in a credit of sport. 

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