Our role is to make sure that sport is clean and fair. We believe in everyone having the same chance to succeed, and that means leading the way in the fight against doping.
Our independence, international expertise and multi-sport approach mean that we are ideally placed to offer services that help organisations and athletes to navigate this complex and constantly changing environment.
Our comprehensive and innovative anti-doping programs help you to ensure that you can run your competitions and events with complete confidence whilst protecting your athletes and your sport.
You will benefit from our strong compliance and independence, and from our guiding principles that generate distinctive value to all our partners.
Our dedicated support, athlete-centred services, and education programs allow you to concentrate on training and competition, backed by reliable, unbiased testing expertise. Our centralised, state-of-the-art operation means you can have confidence in our systems and our collaborative approach means you can rely on us to work closely with you.
The ITA Testing Department is composed of experts hailing from International Federations, National Anti-Doping Agencies and Doping/Blood Control Officers. It is structured in sports-specific clusters that coordinate testing for each sport based on expert knowledge of the particular characteristics of each discipline.
We propose harmonised In-competition testing programs throughout our partners’ sports events and currently oversee testing at over 500 international sporting events every year. Our Out-of-competition testing is managed by a dedicated unit that specialises in intelligence-led athlete targeting as well as the logistics of conducting missions all around the world in a safe and cost-efficient manner. The ITA currently conducts more than 10’000 out-of-competition doping controls every year
In order to cater to the different needs of each sports discipline, testing at the ITA follows sports-specific testing protocols. These protocols reflect the nature of each sport and are defined in collaboration with International Federations. We have also established an International Doping Control Officer (IDCO) Training & Certification Program that ensures that wherever they are tested, and whatever sport they compete in, athletes enjoy the same degree of protection and test quality.
We collaborate with an increasing number of National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) around the world to exchange intelligence and information, coordinate testing plans and collaborate on specific cases or areas like sample collection and education.
As the organiser and implementer of anti-doping programs at the Olympic Games, the ITA has in-depth knowledge of the complexity and extraordinary scale of such programs at major sporting events. Our dedicated Major Events Department works with all parties involved, such as the local organising committee, the participating International Sports Federations, the local National Anti-Doping Organisations and law enforcement authorities (police, custom, justice department) and the athletes and their teams, in order to run and execute solid and holistic anti-doping measures that adapt to the specific needs and logistics of each event.
ITA’s Science and Medical Department is dedicated to delivering the best science-based services to our partners. This includes close collaboration with WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratories, risk assessment, sports physiology, sample storage and re-analysis, as well as Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) management.
The department also focuses on innovating and advancing scientific solutions and approaches for the detection of doping. Examples include Dried Blood Spot testing and the Performance Monitoring project which focuses on developing a computer modelling tool to analyse sport performance outcomes against predicted outcomes based on previous competitions in order to detect the potential use of prohibited performance-enhancing substances.
The department is supported by dozens of external consultants dedicated to bringing our partners world class input to its programs.
The ITA supports International Federations and Major Event Organisers to establish high-quality risk assessments. Our risk assessment process has been developed by the ITA in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) International Standard for Testing and Investigations, and is periodically implemented in collaboration with its partners.
The process consists of the integration and combination of various datasets related to sport/discipline risk, country risk and athletes’ individual parameters which results in a tailor-made Test Distribution Plan (TDP). The risk assessment is developed through a comprehensive and systematic evaluation of:
In addition, tailored parameters are used for specific sports to take into account their particularities. The ITA relies on a unique and sophisticated method to conduct the risk assessment process involving the points below.
Testing numbers alone mean very little without a well-thought-out plan to back up those figures. The ITA offers its partners the elaboration of an intelligent Test Distribution Plan (TDP) that follows a combined approach of identifying risks and sourcing the best tools to address those risks.
A TDP includes the number of tests and the type of tests (In- or Out-of-Competition) and analyses that will be conducted across the sports, disciplines nations and/or athletes, as appropriate. TDPs are monitored during their implementation phase and evaluated on a real-time basis, as well as upon plan completion.
Alongside the analysis of samples for prohibited substances, the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), a method introduced in 2009, has established itself as a pillar method in the detection of doping in sport.
The ABP is an individual electronic profile that monitors selected biological variables of an athlete. It contains the results of the athletes’ urine and blood samples, which are tracked consistently. Any significant variation from normal levels can be assessed for possible manipulation. At the ITA, ABP management is performed by a specialist unit of experts who liaise with the Athlete Passport Management Units (APMUs) and ABP Expert Panels in order to issue further targeted testing or in case of adverse or atypical findings.
Our TUE management service provides a comprehensive solution for administration, clinical review, and athlete and prescriber support, with access to our International TUE Committee (ITUEC), the first of its kind in the sports industry. The ITUEC is a truly international committee, with some of the world’s best clinicians represented from every continent of the world; all with experience of treating elite athletes at international level. Click here to read more about the ITUEC.
Collectively, our experts have clinical experience covering 30 different sports, encompassing the full spectrum of performance and physiological factors which TUE applications may present, including:
We use a unique smart system of TUE allocation, based on the clinical diagnosis, pharmacology and potential performance impact of the substance to ensure that the best experts are convened to review each TUE application.
In the past years, Anti-Doping Rule Violations have been increasingly uncovered on the basis of intelligence processes and investigations. The ITA fosters a synergetic relationship between testing, science & medical, legal and intelligence. Our Intelligence & Investigations (I&I) Department also collaborates closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), International Federations (IFs), external investigative services, law enforcement and other public authorities at national and international level (e.g. Interpol).
In the framework of our growing collaborative network with relevant organisations all over the world, our I&I team fosters an information exchange network that enables to uncover suspicious developments across many disciplines and countries. Reveal, ITA’s whistleblowing platform, offers a simple and trustworthy solution for any individual in the sports world to report behaviour that goes against the principle of clean sport. It is hosted on a highly secure platform that allows anonymous information sharing.
In the framework of our growing collaborative network with relevant organisations all over the world, our Intelligence & Investigations team fosters an information exchange platform that enables the ITA to uncover suspicious developments across many disciplines and countries. REVEAL, ITA’s whistleblowing platform, offers a simple and trustworthy solution for any individual in the sports world to report behaviour that goes against the principle of clean sport. It is hosted on a highly secure platform that allows the anonymous and confidential reporting of information.
All of the ITA’s partners using REVEAL will be compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and satisfy the “Gathering, assessment and use of intelligence” requirements of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) which require organisations to do everything in their power to ensure that they are able to capture or receive anti-doping intelligence from all available sources.
The ITA Legal Affairs Department is composed of lawyers with expertise in the field of sports law. It oversees the results management of anti-doping rule violations, from the initial review stage to the appeal phase before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Legal Affairs Department has currently managed more than 200 cases at the ITA, including complex matters such as positive findings stemming from the 2012 London Games re-analysis program, tampering cases, and the so-called ‘Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)’ affairs, amongst others.
ITA’s Legal Affairs is supported by both the Science & Medical Department and the Intelligence & Investigations Department to build cases. Cases are resolved either via sanctioning agreements or prosecution before different first instance hearing panels, such as the Anti-Doping Division of the CAS, or in the scope of appeals before the CAS.
For any Anti-Doping Organisation (ADO) that does not refer its disputes to the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport or another first instance hearing panel, the ITA has set up the “International Hearing Panel”, an external independent first instance tribunal service to be operated by Sport Resolutions. The International Hearing Panel will be operated independently from the ADOs and the ITA and in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the new International Standard for Results Management (“ISRM”).
The Department is also in charge of the management of whereabouts failures and provides legal support and counselling to International Federations and other partners.
The term ‘compliance with the Code’ refers to how a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code can demonstrate and maintain its Anti-Doping Rules and program implementation in line with the Code, the International Standards and other regulations. The compliance of anti-doping programs with the Code is a paramount foundation of the global anti-doping system and as such, it is also a key priority for the ITA.
WADA has placed increased emphasis on the compliance of Code Signatories with their Code obligations. Since 2015, WADA has established an enhanced Code Compliance Monitoring Program to identify, monitor and assess the compliance of Signatories with the Code and International Standards, in a more thorough and robust manner, taking into account not only Signatories’ Anti-Doping Rules but also their implementation of anti-doping programs.
On 1 April 2018, the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) entered into force, which further reinforced WADA’s Code Compliance Monitoring Program by creating a clear legal framework for WADA’s compliance activities and outlining the responsibilities and consequences applicable to Signatories.
The ITA Compliance Team is responsible for ensuring that our services and anti-doping programs delegated by other organisations are at all times in full compliance with the Code, the International Standards and other applicable regulations.
The ITA is proud to contribute to a fair field of play with our commitment to clean sport education. We collaborate with dynamic and experienced educators to deliver event-based and virtual education programs and make the athletes’ voice the focus of all our work.
We tackle key anti-doping topics and include all perspectives, including those of sanctioned athletes and whistleblowers. We also work with a group of leading experts to continuously improve the quality of our services and to expand the scope of our offering.
With the enactment of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the new International Standard for Education, anti-doping education has become a key and mandatory step towards Code compliance. Our role is to assist any organisation requiring support in fulfilling this responsibility in a manner that complies with the Code, helps preserve the spirit of sport and fosters a clean sport environment.
If you are an athlete, you can directly access the ITA Athlete Hub and find useful links, articles, resources and webinar recordings there.
The long-term storage of samples has emerged as one of the most impactful strategies in the protection of clean athletes and deterrence of doping. Today, urine and blood samples can be stored for up to 10 years. This allows them to be re-tested for previously undetected substances, should scientific breakthroughs allow for new technology and analysis methods.
The ITA operates its own secure, centralised long-term storage facility in which samples can be stored for re-testing following a risk assessment carried out by the ITA, based on Athlete Biological Passport data, intelligence and/or laboratory recommendations, or any source of information or anticipation of scientific developments.
The ITA values transparency and acknowledges that under the current system established by the World Anti-Doping Agency, ITA partners are Signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code and are, therefore, ultimately responsible for the compliance of their program. These responsibilities require clear reporting by the ITA and proper consultation, whilst maintaining operational independence, on any matter of relevance in the management of the partner’s anti-doping program.
As a result, consultation, cooperation and reporting are key features of any partnership with the ITA. We equip our partners with regular in-detail reports on their anti-doping programs and offer them consultation on how to enhance their clean sport efforts. In order to adhere to this principle, the ITA delivers paperless IT solutions, so that partners have digital access to useful information on their program.
A dedicated quality assurance unit ensures that the work and processes of all ITA departments are carried out safely and in accordance with the necessary standards. The unit conducts regular risk assessments on all ITA activities and oversees the implementation of corrective actions where needed. A strong emphasis is put on the data protection of the information entrusted to us by our partners and their athletes. We are currently in the process of obtaining the ISO 9001 certification on quality management systems.
Information security is a priority for the ITA and all of its departments, spanning from data security to the security of business continuity and compliance, among many other crucial security aspects. Our aim is to provide athletes, our partners, as well as our employees with the most secure basis for the delivery of our services. To ensure this, we have successfully undergone an external audit and have been certified with the ISO 27001 on information security management.