An intensive year for Swiss Sport Integrity

Public Relations

Swiss Sport Integrity Foundation looks back on another intensive year 2023: the Ethics Violation Reporting and Investigation Service logged an increasing number of reports, and new standards were established across all aspects of anti-doping work.

An increase in logged reports

A total of 374 reports were submitted to the independent Ethics Violation Reporting and Investigation Service in Swiss sport in 2023, which marked a significant increase compared to the previous year with its 264 reports. Precautionary measures were implemented in nine cases, three reports of abuse were referred to Swiss Olympic and 12 investigation reports were sent to the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Sport (DC), which passed judgements in three cases last year. The issues reported range from organisational grievances to discrimination and psychological, physical and sexual transgression. The number of reports, the investigation work often required against this backdrop and the complexity of the proceedings continue to present a challenge to Swiss Sport Integrity.

Increased efforts and costs

As the available human resources are low compared to the number of reports received and because the procedures involved are often complex and lengthy, there was an increased need for external expertise and support. These additional expenses resulted in the budget being exceeded by CHF 360,000 during the reporting year. Thanks to additional funding pledged by funding bodies FOSPO and Swiss Olympic, financing of this increasing need for human resources and external expertise has been secured for the future. Moreover, the processes will be optimised.

Record new high for doping controls and substance seizures

More tests were carried out and more samples collected than ever before, as 2,712 doping tests were conducted and 4,001 doping samples taken as part of its domestic control strategy. There were 1,806 out-of-competition tests and 906 in-competition tests, 153 were DBS (dried blood spot) tests. This new innovative testing method was successfully introduced and received positive feedback from the athletes tested. The number of prohibited substance seizures (primarily lifestyle and anti-ageing drugs) continues to rise sharply year on year. In 2023, 1,462 seizures were reported by the law enforcement authorities. In 25 cases, the importers were subject to anti-doping provisions under private law and prosecuted accordingly under disciplinary law.

17 anti-doping rule violations  

Swiss Sport Integrity issued a results management decision in six cases in 2023. In three other cases, an agreement bringing the proceedings to a conclusion was reached with the athletes. Furthermore, the DC issued five decisions on doping offences last year, resulting in five sanctions that involved suspensions of between two and four years. A further three cases were concluded before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), namely one agreement of a three-year ban and two convictions with a ban of four years each.

New record year for doping prevention

Swiss Sport Integrity’s prevention-related measures to ensure clean sport were once again intensified successfully in 2023. Over 6,300 people in competitive sport were reached and made aware of anti-doping issues in the form of 218 education courses and workshops. In addition to the popular information event for parents of athletes (over 250 participants), a specific webinar for sports physicians and support staff was launched last year.
It is satisfying to note that the use of the Medication Inquiry Service has risen sharply and only just fell short of the record level of 200,000 search queries. This suggests that the prevention measures are having an impact and that athletes are becoming more and more actively informed and aware of the risks. For the first time, the athlete survey also prioritised doping prevention over more doping controls and harsh penalties or long bans.