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Intelligence: 2019–20 at a glance

ASADA’s intelligence-informed sport risk assessments

The World Anti-Doping Code (Article 5.8) requires anti-doping organisations to have an intelligence capability to obtain, assess and process anti-doping intelligence from all available sources, which can then be used to help deter and detect doping.

In support of the World Anti-Doping Code, ASADA continued to recognise intelligence as critical to enhancing the effectiveness of anti‑doping efforts and entrenched this function as a fundamental strategic priority for ASADA’s operations. By working mutually with ASADA’s other strategic priorities, a world-leading anti-doping intelligence capability could better inform the full spectrum of ASADA capabilities, from testing and investigations to education, policy and strategic direction.

The role of intelligence was critical in providing insights into emerging threats and opportunities, overriding trends and patterns of behaviours relating to doping in sport and enhancing understanding of doping threats from facilitators and suppliers of prohibited substances. These ‘value-add’ observations feed into strategic priorities for prevention initiatives (such as anti-doping education and outreach and anti-doping policy and sports engagement), prioritisation of detection efforts (such as testing planning/targeting and intelligence probes) and compliance (investigation). ASADA operated in a constantly changing, varied environment making prioritisation of anti-doping resources essential to optimising the effectiveness of anti-doping activities. Intelligence and risk analysis have become key tools and strategies to prioritise these.

ASADA also continued to build effective information-sharing partnerships with domestic and international stakeholders to ensure a holistic, comprehensive picture of doping threats domestically and overseas. This supported the design of integrated, coordinated intervention measures in addressing doping in sport with key partners.

The government restrictions imposed to address the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of sport being played across Australia, and in the number of anti-doping tests able to be conducted. During such unprecedented times, ASADA intelligence continued to support the operational priorities of ASADA through continual environmental scanning, and identify opportunities to optimise efforts in the prevention, detection and disruption of doping in sport.