A Canadian team is setting up a Web-based database tool that will help athletes from around the globe comply with the World Anti-Doping Code.
Selected stakeholders will be able to access the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) starting in mid-May of this year, before
it is available to some 400 organizations by 2006. ADAMS will facilitate the collection and sharing of athletes’ whereabouts information, provide a clearinghouse for anti-doping information and a database to coordinate and plan drug testing. The project is being managed by the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which was created six years ago by the International Olympic Committee to support and promote “fundamental values” in sports — specifically, to discourage the use of illegal substances.
Last year the World Anti-Doping Code was implemented by sports organizations prior to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The Code ensures that, for the first time, the rules and regulations governing anti-doping are the same across all sports and that athletes face a level playing field when it comes to doping.
ADAMS project manager Karam Birdi said use the system will be voluntary, but the organization wants to make sure athletes and sporting organizations have every opportunity to submit information that would adhere to anti-doping standards.
“It will eliminate the excuse they were not given the tools, but this is not a requirement of the Code,” he said. “It’s like the United Nations. We can’t tell people what to do, we can only assist them. No organization reports to us as such.”
The Code requires all athletes who have been identified in a registered testing pool to provide up-to-date and accurate whereabouts information. ADAMS is being built to avoid having athletes submit that data to more than one organization. The Clearinghouse component will include tests and approved therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), which is intended to bring transparency to the process. The Code also requires anti-doping agencies to submit information to WADA to monitor the approval of TUEs and manage drug results.
Birdi said about 20 organizations, a mix of labs, national anti-doping agencies and sporting organizations are testing ADAMS. These include the International Rugby Board, the International Ice Hockey Federation and various skating and skiing organizations. “We have tried to take a sample of each,” he said. “There’s still along way to go.”
Montreal-based CGI Group Inc. was chosen this week to host the ADAMS infrastructure and provide help-desk services to the anti-doping agencies that will be feeding information into it. CGI spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said the four-year contract represents one of the largest spans of support the outsourcing giant has given a client.
“It’s literally all around the world . . . it’s multi-language, multi-infrastructure,” she said. “We’re going to be hosting Serena Williams’ profile. This is highly confidential information.”
Birdi said WADA needed a third party to deal with the needs of nearly one million athletes expected to be included in the database.
“Frequency of users will be the big problem in the help desk,” he said. “Some users will use the system maybe five times a year, and then they will forget what they were told.”
ADAMS will be based in part on InjuryZone Sports Edition, a tool created by Montreal-based eLynx Medical to help sports organizations comply with regulations such as the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).