Earlier this year, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) staff traveled to Toronto, Canada to attend a training conference for Canadian Doping Control Officers (DCOs). As partners in emerging technologies, USADA attended to share experiences with the USADA Paperless Sample Collection System™ (Paperless) rollout process and to assist in answering questions from Canadian DCOs on how the Paperless system works. This is the second time USADA has collaborated on a training opportunity with its northern neighbors. In 2013, USADA worked with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) staff to launch their use of the Simon database. While the primary purpose of attending conferences like this is training of staff, it also helps build relationships among NADOs as we all work together to tackle the issue of doping in sport. A close connection with CCES is vital in North America as many Canadian and American athletes travel back and forth across our borders to train and compete.
Developed in partnership with Antidoping Switzerland, Paperless is a state-of-the-art sample collection system that allows DCOs to seamlessly collect and transmit completed test mission data to their test management databases. It provides real-time documentation of completed doping control tests to the athletes, laboratories, and anti-doping organizations. World-wide, more than 15,000 tests have been completed using the Paperless system.
Through the use of Paperless, USADA has seen a savings of 86% in shipping costs over four years and a 59% reduction in average annual printing costs over the same time period. And, athletes and DCOs have provided a lot of encouraging feedback regarding its implementation. Examples of statements include:
- “It’s been one of the most, if not the single most important change to USADA’s testing program.” – DCO
- “I thought it was way quicker and more convenient!” – Athlete
- “The Paperless system is an incredible tool for DCOs and a great resource for athletes.” – DCO
- “With having the forms emailed to me, I won’t be as likely to lose them.” – Athlete
In 2015, the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Championships was a very high-profile event where all sample collection conducted at the event was done successfully using Paperless. Overall, athletes and USADA DCOs had a positive experience and appreciated the faster processing time as well as the fact that information was more secure.
As a leader in the global anti-doping movement, USADA and its staff work to make its innovative technologies available to other National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and train their staff on the technologies. Paperless is one such program that has helped USADA increase efficiency and effectiveness and which is licensed for use by other NADOs such as CCES and Drug Free Sport New Zealand, and the organization International Doping Tests & Management (IDTM).
USADA continues to be in collaboration with WADA on integrating Paperless with ADAMS. This collaboration would open up the possibility of using Paperless to NADOs worldwide who currently use ADAMS for their athlete database.