Thursday, April 19, 2012

The ITF's Anti-Doping Budget: Part II (Updated)


For greater context, according the ITF's 2010 Annual Report, the ITF's total income for 2010 was $47.8M with an operating surplus of $1.3M and a total after tax surplus of $3.65M. So, not only did anti-doping spending come in under budget, additional resources for anti-doping were available had the ITF been so inclined to allocate additional funds to such activities.

Original Post

Here is more recent ITF anti-doping budget information. The main points:

1. The ITF anti-doping program came in under-budget in both 2009 ($122 thousand under) and 2010 ($301 thousand under). The under spending in 2010 in anti-doping was "due to there being fewer positive cases."

2. The ITF spent more on anti-doping in 2009 ($1.43 million) than in 2010 ($1.28 million).

3. There was no discernible increase in forecast anti-doping budgets following the Wayne Odesnik HGH bust in 2010. And, in the 2011 budget, the planned 2011 budget and forecast budget for 2012 are lower than those indicated in the 2010 budget.

4. The forecast budgets give no indication of additional anti-doping funding for this year, which is an Olympic year. Forecast spend is $1.65 million.


How much of these savings are from out of competition (OOC) missions where no sample was collected, and hence no cost to analyze the sample was incurred? Why weren't the "savings" in 2009 and 2010 directed to follow-up OOC tests?

Why no boost for pre-2012 Olympic testing or following the Odesnik bust for HGH?

How much of the budget is for testing (in-competition and out) and how much for dealing with positive tests (and other violations)?

Who are the members of the Anti-Doping Working Group (ADWG)? (see the Anti-Doping Department Report in the documents)

What is the "Anti-Doping Contract" between the Grand Slam Committee and the ITF? (p. 50 of the 2011 document)

What is the Association of Summer International Olympic Federations (ASOIF) anti-doping cost efficiency study? (p. 77 of the 2011 document)

ITF 2011 Budget: 2010 anti-doping program was $301 thousand under-budget. No indication of spending increase for 2012 Olympics.

ITF 2010 Budget: ITF's 2009 anti-doping program came in $122 thousand under budget.

The UCI’s anti-doping activities are financed by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF). The budget is over € 5 million a year [appox. $6.6 million]. The main parties involved in funding the initiative are represented on a committee of contributors.


  1. I will have a go at answering these questions SEN.


    How much of these savings are from out of competition (OOC) missions where no sample was collected, and hence no cost to analyze the sample was incurred? Why weren't the "savings" in 2009 and 2010 directed to follow-up OOC tests?

    **** There is very little saving from a missed test. A missed test is seen as a waste of a limited resource. The analysis is the cheapest part of an OOC test (remember OOC testing is only a half screen so it is much cheaper than an in-comp full screen test) with the largest part of the cost being in travel, fees and charges for the agency collecting the OOC sample. A failed OOC test is seen as a waste of money to be avoided ******

    Why no boost for pre-2012 Olympic testing or following the Odesnik bust for HGH?
    ***** Most pre-olympic testing is handled by NADO's. NADO's move lots of resource into olympic athlete and shadow team testing leading into a games. As Olympic team members all get NOC funding they are covered by the NADO. THis takes the heat off many IF's in an olympic year.******

    How much of the budget is for testing (in-competition and out) and how much for dealing with positive tests (and other violations)?

    **** I flagged this in a previous post. But a good rule of thumb is that an anti-doping budget should hold a contingency of around 20% for prosecuting cases and any subsequent appeals. Note that UCI spent over $1.0 million prosecuting Landis which is about 20% of CADF funding drawn from cycling stakeholders*****

    Who are the members of the Anti-Doping Working Group (ADWG)? (see the Anti-Doping Department Report in the documents)

    **** The ADWG existed even in my day. I sat on it. It is a representative from the ATP, ITF and WTA to discuss how the program is operating and now I would think to provide player feedback gained from the WTA and ATP player councils ******

    What is the "Anti-Doping Contract" between the Grand Slam Committee and the ITF? (p. 50 of the 2011 document)

    **** Probably a funding instrument as to how much the Slams have agreed to pay the ITF for in-comp testing at the Slams *********

    What is the Association of Summer International Olympic Federations (ASOIF) anti-doping cost efficiency study? (p. 77 of the 2011 document)

    **** The Federations, with the support of WADA, are looking at how the massive funds spent on anti-doping can be made more efficient. That is how to get more value from what is being spent and how to avoid wastage. For example how can you get better pricing from the labs for analysis of samples. Or better pricing for collecting blood samples. Or better pricing for couriers of samples to labs *******

    1. My concern would be the relationship between NADOs and the ITF.

      Let's say we have a country which has a poor reputation for anti-doping and we have a sport with a poor reputation for anti-doping, and we also have a number of suspicious athletes from that country.

      Now, the way you present it is that in an Olympic year the NADO will take a more prominent role. The problem is that this is hit and miss. While country X may increase testing country Y may decrease its testing (afterall it wants the glory of gold medals). Now, what happens then - does say the ITF recognise that athletes from country Y are less likely to be tested by their NADO owing to weak national commitment and increase the testing of those athletes, or does it pass the buck and say 'it's up to the NADO to monitor these guys'.

      It seems to me that you have described the 'perfect storm' to allow dopers to prosper.

  2. Mr Ings: one off-topic question for you:

    Have any players ever been exempt from giving urine or blood samples? Have there ever been religious or psychological objections? Have any players ever bluntly refused to cooperate in giving a sample or resorted to mischievous means of avoidance? Was anything done about it?

    1. Michelob should add that athletes trying to tamper with a doping control does happen. The DCOs are all well trained to deal with this. Tampering is a serious offense. I know of athletes that attempted to substitute clean urine via catheter or other device. I think it was a gold medallist in weightlifting at the games before last? He got caught when his urine sample was double checked for DNA and it wasn't his urine.

  3. No never. All players must sign an annual agreement to submit to blood and urine testing. Some grumble but all do it. It is a condition of competing on the circuit.

    I had one athlete at ASADA refuse a test on religious grounds. He appealed his religious grounds to CAS I recall and the 2 year automatic ban for refusal was upheld.

  4. Michlob - one of the things that you do see is a lot of sportsmen abusing TUEs. This is something SEN might like to look into.

    Take Contador for example:

    Had an exemption for high Hct
    Had an exemption for anti-epilepsy medication (which can also act as a masking agent)
    Had an exemption for treatment for his 'allergies'.

    It has been noted that given the number of things wrong with these sportsmen it is truly amazing that they can continue to climb and TT like they are on motorbikes.

    The other TUE of choice seems to be ADHD medication. For example 8% of baseball players suffer from ADHD which compares to 1-3% of the population.

    I would be interested to know about TUEs (apologies SEN if you have already covered it) and Tennis. What 'ailments' are tennis players claiming (apart from dodgy knees, mono and gluten allergies).

    1. Indeed, Richard. TUEs are an area of concern. I did ask the ITF about TUEs last year. This is the exchange:

      Question 1: "What statistics does the ITF keep on TUEs and are they posted on your website? For example, for 2009 and 2010, I'm interested to know how many TUEs have been granted and for which substances they were granted? Similarly, how many TUE applications have been declined and for which substances?"

      ITF Response: "Unfortunately we do not publish any information on TUE’s that players have submitted."

      Question 2: "Can you provide me with the grand total number of approved TUEs currently valid for the ATP and WTA?"

      ITF Response: "I regret that we cannot provide you with the information you have requested."

      I also asked the WADA for the same information and they told me to ask the ITF. When I informed the WADA of the ITF's response, the WADA still declined to provide the information. Very frustrating. The WADA reviews all TUEs and has all the data, so I don't know why they wouldn't provide it.

  5. I don't know about tennis today but I can gee my recollection of some TUE's from days gone by. Also details about TUE's approved in Australia are listed in the ASADA annual report in the ASDMAC (Australian Sports Drug Advisory Committee) section. ASDMAC is a separate statutory body of government appointed physicians that review all Australian athlete TUE requests against the WADA TUE requirements and determine if they are approved and if so for what substances and what dosages and what time frames.

    Firstly all TUE's approved by an IF for international level athletes must be forwarded to WADA. WADA has the unilateral right to overturn any TUE approved and deny it to the athlete. If the athlete doesn't like the WADA decision to overturn, they need to appeal to CAS (with the TUE remaining unapproved during that entire appeal process).

    So just like WADA monitors all IF management of samples form the lab report of an adverse A with a right to take forward what they feel is not being taken forward, WADA has the right to completely toss out any TUE decision made by an IF or NADO if they don't like it.

    So lots of safeguards on TUE's.

    The types of conditions I have seen in tennis include:

    Corticosteroid injections for soft tissue injury (which required a full TUE back then)

    This group would have made up 99% of TUE's.

    At ASADA there were TUE's for everything you could imagine given the number of athletes and they are all listed by year on the annual ASDMAC report.

    Athletes with certain TUE's which may be subject to target testing. A TUE is not carte blanche. The medication approved must be taken to the dose approved and for a fixed term to treat the condition.

    There are cases, and I prosecuted several, of players with TUE's for asthma medication testing positive for that asthma medication but at a level above medicinal use. These athletes got sanctioned for breaching the requirements of their strict TUE approval. Couple of puffs extra of an asthma inhaler beyond what the doc says and you will still get busted TUE or not.

    1. Can you think of any examples of WADA overturning someone's TUE exemption?

      Do you agree that there is very little independent oversight of TUEs?

      Do you accept that athletes are abusing the TUE system in order to use products that act as masking agents for other products?

      A couple of examples from Puerto that show the mix of drugs that Fuentes was giving to his clients. I've just picked up two examples: Tyler Hamilton and the late Marco Pantani (who like Riccardo Ricco was thrown under the bus while other dopers were protected)

      This is Hamilton's drug mix. (From 2002-3)

      "According to El Pais, the documents seized by the Spanish civil guard during Operacion Puerto show that Hamilton was not as innocent as he claimed. It's alleged that he not only received blood transfusions, but also a full doping program involving EPO, anabolics, growth hormone and IGF-1.

      The paper claims that among the files of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes and Jose Merino Batres, are some details of Hamilton's financial dealings in 2002 and 2003, including a copy of a fax sent to his wife Haven to a hotel in Gerona, where he lived. On the fax, it's shown that he had paid €31,200 with €11,840 still owing: €35,000 was for the medical program, and €8,040 was for the medication.

      The doctors' files allegedly consisted of two pages. In the first, a calendar of the racing season is laid out from November to October, with the races that the rider wanted to do well in being marked along with the medication that he should take. The markings were in the so-called "Sanskrit of Eufemiano", a notation system of substances, doses, and procedures. Before the 2003 season, Dr Fuentes indicated that Hamilton should start taking EPO from December 21, with 2000 units daily, up until Christmas Eve, and then on alternate days until January 9. On the 14th of January, before his first training camp with CSC, he was instructed to withdraw blood. On January 24, he was to start with anabolics. In March, after racing had started, he was to take HMG - a hormone used by menopausal women - to mask the anabolics, as well as taking growth hormone and insulin.

      The second page of the file allegedly showed that he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège six days after a double transfusion of blood, won the Tour de Romandie shortly afterwards, and prepared for the Tour by not racing in May and taking anabolics and EPO. He then raced only the Dauphiné Libéré in June - completely anonymously, and didn't even start the final stage. At the time, he claimed to be suffering from stomach problems all week, but El Pais alleged that according to Dr Fuentes files, it was during another period of blood extraction. In the final lead up to the Tour, he was to take more growth hormone and re-infuse the blood, as well as doing so on the first rest day of the race."

      'The Italian Corriere della Sera seems to be in possession of Operación Puerto information which suggests that Italian cycling icon Marco Pantani, who died in the spring of 2004 as a consequence of his drug addiction, was also a 'patient' of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, now incriminated in a vast doping affair. According to the paper, Pantani turned to Fuentes in 2003, and was given the code name PTNI in Fuentes' records. The doctor gave 'PTI' more than 40,000 units of EPO, seven doses of growth hormone, thirty doses of anabolic steroids and four doses of hormones used to treat menopause.

      According to the Spanish investigation, Fuentes applied a minimal tariff to Pantani: €36,000 were spent for that treatment. Between 2002 and 2006, Fuentes and associates are believed to have earned at least €8 million from their doping activities. '

    2. TUE's are really personal medical records. They are submitted by the athletes physician to the relevant TUEC of the sport or NADO, the decision of which is reviewed by WADA.

      So no TUE decisions being personal medical information are not made public. So any decision by WADA to reverse a TUE decision is not detailed. But there may be some stats on the WADA website just like they post stats of doping case appeals.

      I think TUE's for international level athletes have massive oversight from WADA. This is the one area where WADA does not have to appeal a TUEC decision. WADA can just with a pen immediately reverse it. The burden then falls back to the athlete to appeal to have to have their TUE reinstated.

      I think it goes without saying that physicians have lodged TUE requests for "treatments" for which the athlete didn't have a legitimate medical need.

      Is it possible that a physician could breach their ethical obligations in this area. Sure. But TUE requests are considered carefully (I have seen TUE's turned down for example) and are subject to review by WADA and likely target testing.

      The regime you outline is similarly (in scope and scale if for different substances) to the doping regime employed by Balco for its athlete clients.

    3. Can you clear something up for me. Are all TUEs automatically filed with WADA? Does WADA automatically know what TUEs everyone from Mark Cavendish and Cadel Evans to Ian Thorpe and Usain Bolt has and what for?

    4. @Moonax
      According to the WADA: "Once a TUE has been granted by an International Federation (IF) or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO), it will inform WADA, who will then have the opportunity to review this decision."

      Of course, the question is: Does the WADA have the resources to do proper reviews of all TUEs? Unlikely in my view. Just as I think it is unlikely that they have the resources to do a proper of review of all exoneration decisions. This is one of the big problems facing anti-doping: The dopers have access to far more resources (i.e., for some, their annual earnings far exceed the entire budget of WADA, which was $28M in 2010.)

    5. This is what I was alluding to. Let's take Contador for example he had at least 4 TUEs that we know about. We know that Ashenden says that they did double check his claimed naturally high hct. But how do you test to see if someone has epilepsy/fits if they don't take their medicine, or ADHD etc.

      Athletes often have a cocktail to TUEs to hand so it wouldn't be a case of checking out every athlete, you'd have to check them out 4+ times.

      It is clear that it is a system that is ripe for abuse. The athletes, managers and doctors know this.

      WADA obviously has to rely on the rigour of the national authorities and as Spain so clearly illustrates the national authorities can not be relied upon.

    6. WADA have review rights of TUE's for international level athletes.

      In my experience WADA is pretty good at chasing this up. I have seen WADA question TUE's granted for international level athletes and WADA conducts dozens of appeals of cases each year. WADA appealed an ASADA decision on a sanction for an athlete (which I must say was the only appeal WADA lost with CAS appellant division upholding the ASADA decision and awarding ASADA costs).

      I am sure that WADA prioritise what they are looking for (fishing where the fish are) but they are on top of it.

      These case appeals are listed on the WADA website.

  6. Mr. Ings,

    In regards to our back-and-forth on the Contador issue I have what are really a few rhetorical questions for which I hope you can simply provide some of your insight....if you can't or don't want to I understand...

    !) why do you think WADA and UCI even officially broached the subject of HOW Contador came to have clenbuterol in his system?...the more I think about it the more I wonder....if they had simply stuck to their collective guns and simply took that stance that a confirmed positive is a confirmed positive and they had no burden of proof and thus let Contador do the explaining it seems to me the door wouldn't have been opened for debate and ultimately the non-convicting conviction...???

    2) is the decision reached by the Swiss court "typical" of the Swiss?....neutral, non-accusatory, so to username was chosen because I've so many times been proven to have holes in my logic, like Swiss cheese....I'm not a Swiss so I'm just wondering if this type of decision is typical of a Swiss appellate-style court

    3) just a random thought....let's say that Roger Federer is doping...while I'm not willing to bet my life on whether or not he is I am willing to bet my life on the following: If he is then HE, HIMSELF isn't the one meeting the dealer "on the corner" to pick up his vials or pills or whatever...the player is making a fortune but his "entourage" is most likely making a good living wage and his "agent" is making a very very good living how specific do players have to get about identifying their "inner circle" and why can't the ITF focus a little more on the "entourage" versus the player...let's fact it, many drug kingpins are brought down by systematically dismantling their supply chain...if the ITF were to make it clear that upon a certain player's failing a drug test that the entourage is likely to be completely banned (not criminally prosecuted) from tennis (keeping in mind that being allowed to participate in ATP and ITF events is a PRIVILEGE and not a RIGHT, akin to the issuance of a driver's license) because they can set their own rules that don't necessarily have to parallel laws.....imagine a "coach" that is aware of his player's doping that also knows that if his player is caught that he and all the rest of the entourage can be banned from participation...let's face it for these players their entourages know their daily lives better than their families and the entourage is the most likely culprit in the distribution of the a stated, Roger Federer isn't meeting his dealer on the street corner and he needs someone "trustworthy" to do it for KNOW there's a third person involved and that third person isn't likely to be very far removed from the inner if the entire inner circle knew that they, also, were on the hook professionally wouldn't that potentially help to curtail things a bit?...the ITF and ATP don't have to have a concrete-clad lawful reason for banning a player's entourage...they just have to have a rule

  7. SwissCheese,

    Happy to share some thoughts.

    (1) In a CAS hearing like this, the parties are required to address in some form the issues raised by the other parties. Contador's legal team raised an explanation for the clenbuterol. With that UCI and WADA are wise to
    provide a rebuttal. In the submission summary of UCI, the decision PDF says that UCI submitted:

    "It is not the burden of UCI to suggest possible routes of ingestion or to show how likely any of the routes of ingestion is likely to be. On the contrary Mr Contador burden to show his thesis of meat contamination is correct….."

    I think UCI and WADA addressed the issue raised by Contador in regard to meat contamination. UCI and WADA couldn't ignore this part of Contadors submission. To do so would have left Contadors key argument uncontested.

    (2) CAS is based in Switzerland but the arbitrators come from all over the world. There are Swiss laws applicable to the arbitrations but but I wouldn't call the process specifically swiss.

    (3) Any players entourage (or athlete support personnel) are equally covered by anti-doping rules. So aiding an athlete to dope, supply doping substances, possession. administering doping substances all attract significant (indeed higher that sanction applied to an athlete alone taking doping substances) sanctions under the WADA Code.

    You would need to prove that the support person broke one of the doping rules such as trafficking, possession, administration etc to the satisfaction of CAS.

    You need as strong a case to ban a coach as you need to ban a player. In fact probably a stronger case because at least with the player you have a slam dunk positive test.

    But…what you do as a prosecutor is you remind the player of the significant reduction in sanction that applies if they provide substantial assistance..such as who is their supplier, are other people in tennis involved etc. But in my experience it is rare for a caught doper to spill the beans on other parties involved in the doping.

    1. Richard,

      Thanks again....I guess my issues can be summarized as follows: To me of the issues "raised" by Contador only one was actually "raised"...the other two were the opposite of raised, in fact they were "put to bed" so to me the only issue they "raised" was the issue of tainted meat...the issues of supplements and blood doping were both issues they were diffusing, not raising...I guess I'm splitting hairs but when they state he didn't take supplements and didn't dope those were "facts" to support the one issue they "raised"...and, if fact, UCI and WADA, for all intents and purposes, successfully rebutted the "tainted meat" theory, which in combination with Contador's inability to prove it should have sufficed...let me add as an aside that the probability of meat contamination's causing the positive results is much lower than either side fact, the only probability identified was the probability that a calf in Spain could be contaminated with clenbuterol and that was astronomical...however, the actual probability that the astronomically unlikely calf in Spain would have then been ingested by a winner of the TDF is astronomically astronomical (and, yes, I'm thinking about coining that phrase as my own) as the two intersecting probabilities have to be multiplied by each WADA/UCI totally successfully rebutted Contador's claim to the millionth, if not billionth of a if all the defendant has to do is state "I don't dope" and that constitues "raising it" and thus throws the burden of proof on the prosecution to rebut it beyond "we have a confirmed A and B sample that isn't disputed by Mr. Contador and we have a policy of "strict adherence/liability"....I suppose I'm just venting and as an outsider I'm more peaved by the CAS written summary regarding the likelihood of supplement contamination, which Contador denied and WADA/UCI didn't even try to prove, let alone prove, that was then seemingly accepted by the CAS....oh well...if I had a dime for every time I've been wrong or misguided I could have lost all that money on gambling and fine wine.....and hopefully I don't lose argument points with my use of run-on sentences.


    A picture of Nadal taken today after beating Nole in the Monte Carlos final.

    Yep, he sure has serious knee problems.

    What partisan FOOL still believes Nadal and his serious knee problems ?

  9. Richard,

    Now let's address the newest elephant in the room, the one discussed multiple times on this blog, most recently by "mrsn10sdave"....if "last minute withdrawals" are subject to verification by a tour physician then please tell me that Rafael Nadal has been fined for his withdrawal at Miami....He has essentially admitted the withdrawal was "precautionary" so how does a physician verify a "precautionary" injury?.....a licensed physician can't both be respected for his knowledge and education and at the same time excused for thinking it's acceptable that 2 weeks prior to the MC Masters Nadal was too injured to compete and then shows up in MC looking as good as ever, with a rifle forehand and totally unhindered movement along with pristine's impossible to believe both...

    So how does an onsite physician verify a flareup of tendonitis in less than a day? they simply take the player's word for it?..."yeah I know that last night against Tsonga I was running around like a jackrabbit and didn't limp or wince one single time but after resting on it overnight I now feel that today I'm unable to play"???.....of course Nadal knows when to say "yes that hurts" and knows the right things to say to a doctor...if he's been diagnosed with a flareup then at the next tournament he plays is he subject to a physical to demonstrate that the maladies present two weeks ago are indeed gone?...and if there were no "maladies" found then how does he get excused in the first place?...again, I suppose they just take his word for it?.....please tell me that someone somewhere in the hierarchy of tennis had his/her interest "piqued" by Nadal's miraculous resurgence...again, how is a flareup of tendonitis diagnosed and verified by an ATP physician.....much like Venus Williams and her "Sjogren's syndrome"...if she were to pullout of an event and claim flareup of her "symptoms" how on earth would a physician tell her "well, I don't believe you're actually fatigued....I don't believe your mouth is dry" etc...please tell me that someone in the WTA was a little "miffed" that a 31 year-old claiming to have debilitating Sjogren's syndrome was able to appear in Miami without playing for 6 months and play as well if not better than she had for a couple years.....and isn't it a major loophole that only "sudden withdrawals" are subject to verification meaning that not one single WTA or ITF official was allowed to verify that Serena Williams had a career-threating sliced tendon on her foot that she was able to play a match with a day or two AFTER it supposedly happened?...I'll shut up now cuz this next bottle of wine ain't openin' and drinkin' itself...

    1. SwissCheese,

      Sorry but I don't know about recent fines. I don't think they are publicly announced by the ATP or WTA. But I do know the process well. Any player with a late withdrawal must submit to an onsite medical. The tournament doctor will examine the player and determine if he is fit to play or not.

      Now when I worked for the ATP, not only did I manage the rules and regulations but I also managed the ATP trainers area. So I know this part of the business quite well. The reality is that players all carry injuries. Every time they walk on court they play with an injury. Whether they play or not depending on the extent of the injury.

      So when a tournament doctor examines a player they will find an injury. So the doctor must determine if the injury is sufficient to limit the players ability to play. Doctors will examine the player. Even take him out on court to run and hit a few balls before making that determination.

      The tournament wants the player to play of course. The player, if he is seeking a medical, is obviously keen not to play. The doctor must determine the fitness of the player. Remember the doctor is employed by the tournament. For a doctor to tell a player that they are fit to play when the player is complaining of pain and has identifiable problems on a scan is a massive call. The doctor in reality can expect to get sued if he forces a player to play only to have him break down with an aggravation of a clearly existing condition.

      In my experience doctors err on the side of caution in this area and I can only recall a few times where a doctor raised the issue that he could find no injury whatsoever.

      That is the reality of it.

  10. Replies
    1. I'm always glad to read an eloquent, meaningful contribution.