Whereabouts - what is it and how does it work?
The element of surprise is one thing Doping Control Officers (DCO) at Drug Free Sport NZ (DFSNZ) have in their favour when testing athletes for prohibited substances.
Some prohibited substances only remain in the body for a matter of hours, so unpredictable testing at an athletes’ training venue, straight after competition or at their home – first thing in the morning or in the evening, is more likely to catch out a doping athlete.
To make the testing process as unpredictable and efficient as possible, DFSNZ implements the Whereabouts programme, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) initiative for elite athletes. They must provide DFSNZ with information on their whereabouts during the day and where they’ll be staying each night.
Two pools of athletes are required to provide their Whereabouts information - those in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and those in the National Testing Pool (NTP) (approx. 150 athletes), so they can be easily located for drug testing. RTP athletes must also nominate an hour each day where they will be available for testing at a location they specify.
Whereabouts information is required to be filed quarterly, with further updates made as required. If a DCO turns up to test an athlete at a location stated on their Whereabouts information and the athlete is not present, there are consequences. Three missed tests or failure to file their Whereabouts information and the athlete could be banned from all sport for up to two years.
The Whereabouts information must also be filed by those RTP and NTP athletes based overseas. They can be tested any time of the day, generally between 5am and 11pm and testing can even be done outside those hours if the anti-doping organisation (ADO) has reason.
For more information on the Whereabouts programme, please click here
If you are an RTP or NTP athlete and need to update your Whereabouts information, please click here.