WADA confirms that leaked Athletics Database does not originate from its Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS)

Athletes can have full confidence in the integrity of ADAMS

Press release - Further to the television documentary titled “Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics”, which was released by German broadcaster ARD on 1 August, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirms that the leaked database, which contains blood values of athletes from international athletics, is not from its Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS).

The documentary, on which WADA commented on 2 August, alleges that ARD and The Sunday Times obtained a leaked database, belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes for the years 2001 to 2012. 

WADA condemns the leak of athlete’s confidential information and wants to assure athletes of the world that they can have full confidence in ADAMS in protecting their personal data,” said David Howman, WADA Director General. “While WADA has not been granted access to the leaked database in question, we can confirm that the:

  • great majority of the data pre-dates the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), which was introduced in 2009. The ABP monitors selected biological variables over time via the blood that indirectly reveal the effects of doping (versus detecting a doping substance or method directly).
  • International Association of Athletics (IAAF) started using ADAMS in 2009 to enter its blood test results; and, therefore, the great majority of the data in question is not housed in ADAMS.
  • data report format depicted in the documentary is not consistent with the ADAMS platform.

WADA would also like to reassure clean athletes that atypical blood data, which may appear within this database, is not necessarily indicative of doping,” said Howman.  “The strength of the ABP is that it measures data over time, aligned with WADA’s rules governing the ABP,” he continued. “It would be reckless to draw conclusions on the basis of limited information.

First launched in 2005, ADAMS is an online data management tool that allows athlete data entry and storage, as well as data-sharing and reporting to take place in a highly secure environment that restricts access to all but relevant parties. It protects confidentiality of data due to a security system that complies with the highest data protection standards. Only restricted personnel within Anti-Doping Organizations have access to their respective data.

Most International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) use ADAMS as a central data base. Its core functionalities include Whereabouts, Therapeutic Use Exemptions, Test Planning, Results Management, the ABP and Laboratory Results.

A French version of this statement will be available shortly on our Web site.

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