WHISTLEBLOWING: a successful tool against doping and a possible area of cooperation

By Jorge Leyva from INADO

Hit For Six!

Whistleblowing reports have become an important tool in the fight against doping. Since 2015, the World Anti-Doping Code, the international set of rules for regulating the fight against doping, allows Code Signatories to gather, evaluate and process information from all available sources. As a consequence, telephone, email or more sophisticated online secured anonymous interfaces have been used by anti-doping organizations such as international sports federations and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) around the world to receive whistleblowing reports and to convict doping offenders without a positive doping test.

According to WADA, 15% of the doping offences currently sanctioned are not detected in the laboratory but are a result of Intelligence & Investigations (I&I). According to the last publicly available WADA report from the year 2018, the trend is rising. In a recent survey of iNADO members, an association of more than 70 National and Regional Anti-Doping Organisations worldwide, two-thirds of those surveyed stated that they received tips from whistleblowers (1,800 in 2020) and had initiated a follow-up. The potential benefits of an effective and trusted whistleblowing mechanism for clean sport are evident.

The challenges faced by potential whistleblowers are the complex set of anti-doping rules, jurisdictions and authorities. It may often be difficult to know where to go with a piece of information; a National Olympic Committee, a National Federation, an International Federation, a NADO or WADA? Likely athletes or support personnel may find it very difficult to identify the responsible organization for the information they possess, and often this information may be valuable to more than one of these organizations.

In cricket, you are encouraged to use the ‘Reporting’ function on the ICC Anti-Doping app to report anything suspicious. This will ensure the information received can be channelled adequately, additional information can be gathered to support the case, and the ICC can follow up with the whistleblowers (if desired).

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