Overview of EADA activities in 2016
The mission of the Estonian Anti-Doping Agency (EADA) is to work with the state and social and international organisations to defend clean sport by using and developing professional knowledge and skills. The organisation has three areas of activity: doping testing, anti-doping training and education, and international anti-doping cooperation.
2016 marked a new testing record. 453 tests were made during the year (375 in 2015), including tests outside competitions (altogether 210) and tests during competitions (96). The number of biological passports was 89. The increase in the number of tests was made possible by the increased support of the financers – the Estonian National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Culture. The sports with the largest number of tests taken during competitions were football, basketball, volleyball, handball, track and field, lifting and powerlifting. For tests made outside competitions, track and field athletes, skiers, swimmers, fencers, rowers, and lifters were tested the most.
There were eight occasions of missed tests and filing failures. No therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) were issued.
Despite the large number of tests, there were few anti-doping violations in 2016. Altogether EADA handled eight positive doping tests, six of which concerned meldonium. No anti-doping violations were identified. One positive test was taken from a foreign athlete during international competitions taking place in Estonia (the forbidden substance was anabolic steroids) and this matter was handed over to another anti-doping agency. One adverse analytical finding (cocaine) of the Estonian athlete was found out by the testing activities of another agency and resulted in a ban.
The 2016 training activities focussed on anti-doping outreach activities during multiple competitions and the Play True Day (actually a week lasting from 10 to 17 April); altogether 14 sports events were visited to spread the message of clean sports among athletes as well as spectators. In 2016 altogether 335 athletes, including 107 elite athletes and 228 young athletes received anti-doping education; other target groups also took part in the trainings, e.g. coaches, sports officials, sports journalists and schoolchildren.
In 2016 and 2017 more attention is given to the development of the field of anti-doping on the state level. Work is under way on a policy development project funded by UNESCO, which will enable to improve cooperation between government institutions and EADA, enhance the Estonian anti-doping rules, develop cooperation with athletes to combat doping and assess legal issues, including circumstances pertaining to the protection of personal data.
Since Estonia will be the president of the Council of the European Union in the second part of 2017 and the fight against doping has been an important issue among EU countries, expert knowledge is expected from EADA to develop anti-doping positions within the EU.