Finnish top athletes trust the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS’ testing activities. This can be seen from FINCIS’ survey of athletes tested in 2021.
In particular, the athletes praised the friendliness, language and communication skills and professionalism of FINCIS’ doping control officers. 96% of the athletes felt that the doping test did not interfere with their competition or training performance. As rated by the athletes, the overall score for the testing situation on a scale of 1 to 5 was 4.7.
In addition to testing, the athletes see information provision as an important role for FINCIS. Three out of four athletes who responded to the survey stated that they had received sufficient information on prohibited substances and methods, and two out of three had participated in FINCIS’ anti-doping education and training sessions.
The credibility of the doping control system is at a high level, with only 7 per cent of the respondents reporting that they believed that doping had an impact on the results of national sports competitions in which they had participated. In international competitions, the corresponding figure was 17 per cent.
The importance of positive feedback from the tested athletes and their trust in the system is heightened by the exceptional preceding year in doping control. During the pandemic, athletes have felt that the testing activities were safe, and it has been possible to carry out testing in Finland as normal.
In addition to the pandemic, other external issues have affected the testing activities:
“Exceptionally, two Olympic and Paralympic Games were organised very close to each other. This had a significant impact on testing, as these competitions have an effect on defining the planning, timing and targeting of testing. In addition, the testing of athletes aiming to get into the Olympic and Paralympic Games is subject to international requirements,” says Katja Huotari, Doping Control Manager at FINCIS.
In 2021, FINCIS carried out a total of 2,745 doping tests in Finland and abroad. In 2020, the number of tests was 2,599. The majority of the tests were covered by FINCIS’ national testing programme. The most tested sports in the national testing programme were athletics (304), ice hockey (224) and cross-country skiing (190).
According to World Anti-Doping Agency WADA’s statistics, doping control has recovered from the reduction in the number of tests caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total number of doping tests performed in 2021 is lower than in 2019, but more athletes were tested out of competition in 2021 than in 2019 before the pandemic. The decrease in the total number of tests can be explained by the cancellation of several major events in 2021, resulting in the number of tests carried out in competition being lower than normally. A total of 274,254 tests were carried out in 2021 by 256 anti-doping organisations.
Doping test statistics: https://suek.fi/en/anti-doping-activities/dopingcontrol/dopingtestitilastot/
Communication Manager – FINCIS
tel. +358 (0)40 740 7477