The Dutch doping authority, which aims to catch sport cheats who boost their performance using drugs, is under financial pressure which is harming confidence in the system.
‘When it comes to the size of our anti-doping programme, we have a problem,’ director Herman Ram told broadcaster Nos on Wednesday.
Doping controls are financed through the Dutch Olympic and national athletics committee NOC*NSF from money from the national lotto. However, the profit made by the lotto has been shrinking for years and Ram is having to make more and more concessions.
The number of tests carried out on Dutch athletes has reduced by a quarter over the past ten years.
‘We want to be in the world top ten when it comes to sport. It follows that we should also want to be in the world top ten when it comes to drug testing. I want to see a doubling of the budget and a doubling of testing,’ Ram said.
Ram said he estimates the Netherlands at around number 25 in the world ranking of doping controls, behind countries such as Romania, Poland and India.
Last year, for instance, the doping authority carried out 33 blood tests on athletes. ‘Far too few to get a reliable picture,’ Ram said. ‘Particularly compared with other countries such as Denmark where they carried out at least 300 blood tests.’
‘The present situation is having a detrimental effect on international confidence in the Netherlands,’ according to Ram.
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