Testing Pools & Whereabouts

Prohibited substances that are used out-of-competition will not always be detected in an athlete's sample if the athlete is tested in-competition. For this reason, out-of-competition testing is a necessary part of an anti-doping program.

In order to locate athletes for out-of-competition testing, the FEI needs information about where they are. This information, which is called “Whereabouts”, is stored confidentially in WADA’s ADAMS platform and is only used by the Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) who have authority to test the athletes. ADAMS is a web-based system that centralizes anti-doping information including Whereabouts information. It’s a secure platform for athletes and ADOs to use. 

The athletes who are required by the FEI to provide Whereabouts information are included in the FEI’s Testing Pool (TP) or Registered Testing Pool (RTP), and notified accordingly by the International Testing Agency (ITA) acting on behalf of the FEI.

Athletes in the FEI Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are required to provide the following information for each day:

  • Address, email address and phone number
  • An overnight accommodation
  • Regular activities, such as training, work, school or University
  • The competitions the athlete is participating in
  • A 60-minute time slot where the athlete will be available and accessible for testing (NB: athletes can be tested anywhere at any time, not only during the 60 minutes time slot. If an athlete is not available for testing at the location they indicated for the 60-minute time slot, then that may be declared a "missed test")

Athletes can submit their Whereabouts directly in ADAMS and/or in Athlete Central. Athlete Central is a mobile App that can be used to both provide whereabouts information and update it. It can be downloaded here

Whereabouts information must be submitted each quarter (by a specific time and date provided by the FEI) for the next 3 months. Once the quarterly Whereabouts information is submitted the athlete must then make sure it remains accurate at all times. If the athlete’s plans change then they must update their Whereabouts information accordingly.

Whereabouts information must provide sufficient detail so that the athlete can be found/located for an out-of-competition test.

What happens if an athlete fails to comply with their Whereabouts requirements?

Not providing the information or providing inaccurate or misleading information can result in consequences. In fact, it is one of the 11 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs). The ADRV is known as a "Whereabouts failure". 

A Whereabouts failure is when there is any combination of 3 missed tests and/or a filing failure within a 12-month period.

  • If an athlete doesn’t submit their Whereabouts information quarterly and update it as necessary, or provides incomplete/inaccurate information, they may receive what is called a filing failure. 
  • If a Doping Control Officer (DCO) can’t find the athlete at the location indicated during their 60-minute time slot, the athlete may receive what is called a missed test.
  • If a Doping Control Officer (DCO) can’t find the athlete at the location indicated at any time outside their 60-minute time slot, the athlete may receive filing failure.

Any combination of 3 filing failures and/or missed tests in a 12-month period, may result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), called Whereabouts failure, which could result in a 2-year sanction.

Athletes in the FEI Testing Pool (TP) must also provide Whereabouts, but the requirements that apply to them are less stringent.

Note: the above is only a brief overview of Testing Pools & Whereabouts, meant for awareness purposes. Athletes who are included in the FEI’s Testing Pool (TP) or Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are notified accordingly by the International Testing Agency (ITA) acting on behalf of the FEI. The notification includes all the necessary information. In addition, it is highly recommended that TP and RTP athletes take WADA’s e-learning “ADEL for International-Level Athletes” on WADA's ADEL platform.