The Whereabouts system allows your National Anti-Doping Organisation and other testing agencies to test some athletes with no advanced notice. For those athletes it means that you must be where you say you are!

Updating it is critical for your National Anti-Doping Organisation to conduct unannounced, out-of-competition testing, helping to protect clean sport.

Remember: athletes can be tested any time, any place. If you are asked to provide Whereabouts information and do not do so, you risk receiving a Whereabouts Failure and possibly a ban from sport.

It’s a tough system, no doubt. It’s a significant change to what we were used to before, so I think it takes some getting used to it.

I feel like this is how you’re going to catch them, right? You’re not going to catch them ringing them up and saying, ‘Look, I would like to test you maybe in two days.’ The guy’s cheating and they’re smart, right? It’s an hour a day. I know it’s a pain, but I would like it to be a clean sport, and that’s why I’m OK with it.

Roger Federer, tennis, Switzerland

The facts – what you need to know about Whereabouts

  • Athletes who are in a Testing Pool must provide Whereabouts information each quarter to enable out-of-competition testing. This information must be entered and updated in the Athlete Central App or the Anti-Doping Administration Management System (ADAMS), both managed by WADA
  • If you are in a Testing Pool you must provide your quarterly Whereabouts information in ADAMS by 23:59 on the 15 December (Q1), 15 March (Q2), 15 June (Q3), and 15 September (Q4).
  • For athletes on the National Registered Testing Pool (NRTP), you must provide the following information:
    • Overnight accommodation
    • 60-minute timeslot
    • Regular activities, such as training, work, or school
    • Competitions
    • Mailing address
  • For athletes on the Domestic Testing Pool, you must provide all the above, except for the 60-minute timeslot.
  • You must ensure that you provide clear instructions so that you can be easily located. For example, if your house/flat is in a rural area or not particularly obvious to a visitor, further guidance may be needed for the Doping Control Officer to find you. Access/buzzer codes, security numbers, hotel room numbers or side doors must be detailed in the ‘Additional Information’ section on ADAMS
  • Add all your regular overnight residences to your ADAMS address book – this will allow you to make changes easily
  • Whilst competing you must always include the competition title and the venue’s location on your Whereabouts profile. You must also continue to provide a 60-minute time slot (NRTP only), even on competition days
  • Whilst travelling abroad you should use the travel function in ADAMS. This should be used for all travel, and it must be used when you are unable to provide a 60-minute time slot between 5am and 11pm or an overnight accommodation entry due to travel. You should also include all travel details, e.g. flight numbers and air carriers
  • Last-minute, unplanned emergency changes to your Whereabouts information can be made either directly on the ADAMS website or via the Athlete Central App. If you can’t access these platforms, use the SMS service (your phone number must be activated on your ADAMS profile for this service to work).
  • If you retire from sport when you are on a Testing Pool, then you must let your National Governing Body and your National Anti-Doping Organisation know as soon as possible. If you choose to return to sport, you must give six months’ written notice to your International Federation and UK Anti-Doping. If you do not provide your National Anti-Doping Organisation with six months’ notice of your intentions to return to sport, any competitive results obtained during this period shall be disqualified.

I do not understand why the whereabouts rules create so much controversy. For clean athletes there is no issue whatsoever. It strengthens chances to catch cheats. The objective of the rule is to protect clean athletes. Submitting whereabouts takes time, but whereabouts can always be updated.

Intelligent testing is crucial. To protect clean sport, athletes need to accept it and contribute to this system. Anti-doping protects athletes’ and sport’s credibility.

Sabine Spitz, cycling (mountain bike Olympic champion), Germany

Whereabouts Failures

If you file your Whereabouts late, forget to update any changes or are not where you say you are, you could receive a Whereabouts Failure.

Filing Failure – If an athlete on a testing pool provides inaccurate or insufficient Whereabouts information which means they’re not accessible for testing, they are subject to what is called a Filing Failure. These can also be issued if an athlete does not file the required Whereabouts information by the quarterly deadline.

Missed Test (NRTP only) – Athletes on the NRTP can be subject to a Missed Test if they are not available for testing during their 60-minute timeslot.

Three Whereabouts failures in a rolling 12-month period leads to:

NRTP = Anti-Doping Rule Violation and a potential two-year ban from sport
DTP = Added to the NRTP

What that means for you

You are responsible for the accuracy of your Whereabouts, even if you delegate this task to someone else. If you are competing aboard, injured, attending a Major Games or on holiday your Whereabouts must always be up to date – no excuses.

Your National Governing Body or National Anti-Doping Organisation can help if you have any questions.

Your National Anti-Doping Organisation monitors the frequency of last-minute unplanned changes on athlete’s Whereabouts profiles. If we believe that your updates are suspicious, you could be investigated for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

What you should do

  • Download the WADA Athlete Central Mobile App from the App Store here or Google Play here.
  • Set phone reminders for each day to check your Whereabouts information is accurate and up to date – this can be done on the app.
  • Make sure you have activated the SMS text service in your ADAMS profile and saved the SMS number in your phone.
  • Tell your family, friends, coach and support staff that you need to provide Whereabouts information so that they can help remind you when your Whereabouts change
  • Print a copy of your ADAMS calendar for coaches and support staff
  • Look out for the reminders from your National Anti-Doping Organisation’s Whereabouts Support Officer towards the end of each quarter and let your National Anti-Doping Organisation know if you are experiencing any difficulties accessing ADAMS
  • Make sure your email and phone numbers are up to date on your ADAMS profile, so reminders can be sent to you regarding submitting your Whereabouts for the next quarter

Where to go for further advice

For more information on Whereabouts, ADAMS or what being on a Testing Pool means, visit the WADA website.