From the beginning of 2015, Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules obligates sports organisations to establish anti-doping programmes which they must implement, evaluate and, if necessary, update. FINCIS evaluates and reports the programmes of the sports organisations and their implementation to the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The evaluations are taken into consideration when granting state subsidies for the sports federations.
Each anti-doping programme is different. The anti-doping programmes are based on each organisation’s strategic choices: its values, vision, mission and the principles of fair play. The nature of the programme is determined by the number of participants, the characteristics of the sport as well as the education systems.
Criteria for anti-doping programmes
In their respective anti-doping programmes, the organisations define their activities’ methods, responsible persons and target groups, including club officials, young athletes, disabled athletes and coaches. FINCIS has established the criteria for anti-doping programmes (04/2020), designed to help organisations plan and implement their own anti-doping programmes. Key criteria for different themes are listed below.
- The national sports federation is committed to Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules, and the disciplinary rules of the federation include the Anti-Doping Rules.
- The licensing systems of athletes cover the issues required by the Anti-Doping Rules and, in addition, the athletes are required to sign separate anti-doping agreements.
- The sports federation will inform and train the support personnel of athletes regarding the Anti-Doping Rules.
- Athletes and their support personnel have the right to receive up-to-date information on anti-doping matters.
- The sports federation is obligated to organise anti-doping education and training sessions for different target groups.
- The sports federation must encourage clubs to organise anti-doping education and training sessions.
- The sports federation must ensure that information related to doping control is communicated to the appropriate parties actively and without undue delay.
- With its operations, the sports federation promotes the spirit of clean sports and encourages everybody within the organisation to become a champion of fair play.
- The sports federation has a crisis communication plan which covers crisis communications in the event of anti-doping rule violations and suspected violations.
Doping control, doping tests, testing pool, therapeutic use exemptions and anti-doping rule violations
- The sports federation must cooperate with FINCIS in the implementation of doping control, for example, by submitting necessary information and informing competition organisers of their obligations.
- The sports federation has an obligation to be aware of the Therapeutic Use Exemption practices of both national- and international-level athletes.
- The sports federation cooperate with FINCIS in the investigations of anti-doping rule violations.
Follow-up and responsibilities
- The sports federation must appoint a person to be in charge of the anti-doping programme.
- The sports federation must publish their anti-doping programme on their website and submit the programme for publication on FINCIS’ website.
- The sports federation must enter their anti-doping tasks in their action plan and report their performance in their annual report.
Commenting on programmes
FINCIS comments on the programmes before they are made public and, consequently, helps organisations establish the best possible operational models. FINCIS has agreed to comment on the anti-doping programme of each organisation within two weeks of receiving a programme. Programmes can be submitted to the FINCIS Communication Manager for comments.
The anti-doping programme is typically verified by the Board of the sports organisation. Once a programme is established, the organisation must ensure that information about the programme is distributed and that parties are committed to the programme. Themes related to anti-doping work must be included in the action plan and reported in the annual report.
FINCIS publishes the anti-doping programmes of different sports organisations on its website to help other federations design their own programmes.
Evaluation of anti-doping programmes
FINCIS evaluates and reports the programmes of the sports organisations and their implementation to the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The evaluations are taken into consideration when granting state subsidies for the organisations. FINCIS performed the first evaluation of the initial status of anti-doping programmes in autumn 2015. The latest evaluation was performed in 2018.
The future of anti-doping programmes
A new edition of Finland’s Anti-Doping Rules will enter into force in 2021. FINCIS will update the criteria for anti-doping programmes in order to make them consistent with the Rules and national standards. The anti-doping programmes will become more comprehensive as, in addition to anti-doping activities, the criteria will include specifications related to manipulation of sports competitions and spectator comfort and safety. The criteria and programmes are being developed by pilot organisations in cooperation with FINCIS. The goal is to make the new criteria public at the turn of the year.