Doping Control Officers are an important part of the doping control system. Doping Control Officers perform doping tests requested by anti-doping organisations. FINCIS provides training and grants doping control authority to its Doping Control Officers for a period of two years at a time.
Doping Control Officers comply with the World Anti-Doping Code’s International Standard for Testing and Investigations. The training provided to Doping Control Officers and their duties are detailed in the Standard and the related guidelines issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA. The purpose of these extensive guidelines issued by WADA is to ensure that all Doping Control Officers act in a uniform manner throughout the world and that the athletes’ legal protection is ensured in all sports and countries.
Doping test team
FINCIS has an extensive regional Doping Control Officer system, which means that there are Doping Control Officers responsible for the local doping test activities based all around Finland. Some of the Doping Control Officers are health care professionals who also have the right to take blood samples. In addition to Doping Control Officers, the doping test teams consist of Doping Control Assistants and/or Blood Collection Officers.
An anti-doping organisation (in Finland, FINCIS) has approved, trained and granted the Doping Control Officers the authority to carry out doping tests in practice in compliance with the guidelines. The duties of the members of the doping test team vary. The Doping Control Officer is always responsible for the test event. They ensure that the methods of sample collection are reliable, safe and uniform and that the samples are labelled appropriately, which ensures the validity and reliability of the test results. It is also important to ensure that the athletes are able to exercise their rights in smooth cooperation. Doping Control Assistants assist the Doping Control Officer in the doping test situation, issue invitations to the tests and supervise the sample collection process.
Being involved in a doping test team provides a variety of new perspectives into sports and access to the athletes in their training facilities and homes. It is important to acknowledge the confidentiality related to the duties of Doping Control Officers and Doping Control Assistants. The members of the doping test team are bound by strict confidentiality.
There are currently about 30 Doping Control Officers in Finland. The network also includes about 100 collectors of blood samples and Doping Control Assistants.
Criteria for the doping control staff
Doping Control Officers and Doping Control Assistants must be adults. The following qualifications are also considered when selecting new Doping Control Officers to be trained: possible previous experience in anti-doping activities, education, language skills, testing competencies and any possible partiality. The testing staff must not have any personal relationships with the athletes to be tested or active participation in the sports in question. In order to be granted the authority to take blood samples, a person must have professional education in health care that provides the right to take blood samples. These persons must also take blood samples regularly in their work in order to maintain the high quality of their skills.