Original article

Rossi F1, Banuls O2, R. Van Dugteren G3
1 Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation Director
2 Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation Deputy Director
3 Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation Board President


Created in 2008, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), is a non-profit organization acting under Swiss law that became fully independent in 2013. Unique model for a sporting organization, the CADF’s role is to manage autonomously the Anti-Doping programme, on behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The relationships between UCI and CADF are regulated by a contract signed by the CADF Foundation Board and UCI management. The CADF activities are conducted in compliance with the World Anti-Doping code [1], the UCI Anti-Doping rules [2]. CADF is ISO 9001 certified. The CADF is entirely funded by cycling stakeholders including the professional road cycling teams, the organisers, the riders and UCI itself.


Créée en 2008, la Fondation Cycling Anti-Doping (CADF), est un organisme sans but lucratif agissant en vertu du droit suisse qui est devenue totalement indépendante en 2013. Elle est un modèle unique pour une organisation sportive. Le rôle de la CADF est de gérer de façon autonome le programme antidopage, au nom de l’Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Les relations entre l’UCI et la CADF sont régies par un contrat signé par le Conseil de Fondation de la CADF et le management de l’UCI. Les activités de la CADF sont menées en conformité avec le Code Mondiale Anti-Dopage et le règlement antidopage de l’UCI. La CADF est certifiée ISO 9001. La CADF est entièrement financée par les parties prenantes du cyclisme, y compris les équipes professionnelles du cyclisme sur route, les organisateurs, les coureurs et l’UCI même.


In order to restore cycling credibility, Professional Road Cycling teams accepted in 2007 the UCI proposal to support financially the implementation of the Biological Passport Program at one condition: to give the money directly to a separate “entity”, in order to ensure that the resources were dedicated exclusively to the Biological passport programme.
The CADF mail stones are the following:
2008: CADF was established and recorded as a separate entity under Swiss law
March 2010: All UCI staff appointed in the Foundation become CADF employees with a new contract
September 2013: The UCI was not anymore represented in the Foundation Board.

A new foundation board was established and the new statutes which made the Foundation completely independent from UCI were approved. The new statutes were recognised by the Federal Swiss Authority of Foundations Control.
The CADF governance is therefore composed of a Foundation Board and a CADF Funding Committee.

The CADF responsibilities are to:

  • Define and implement the doping control strategy on behalf of UCI
  • Conduct a comprehensive in- and out-of-competition testing programme to detect prohibited substances and methods, with specific attention to the Biological Passport programme
  • Investigate and Intelligence-gathering; grouping information from law enforcements, Anti-Doping organizations and other sources to build an increasingly intelligence-led programme
  • Define and implement samples storage and reanalysis strategies
  • Manage and constantly improve the Athlete Biological Passport programme
  • Provide support to UCI Legal Anti-Doping Services (LADS)
  • Provide administrative support to the UCI for the management of the Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
  • Train CADF Doping Control Officers (DCOs)
  • Train raiders and teams in the use of different existing online Anti-Doping platforms (ADAMS, ALPHA)
  • Upon request, play a consultative role with regard to science, research, education and prevention of doping

All the CADF’s Antidoping testing activities and related operational work are managed through the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) and therefore subject to constant review by WADA.
In the present article the most important points related to the CADF governance and the CADF responsibilities and activities will be detailed in order to offer an overall view of this possible independent management model of Anti-Doping activities.

CADF model

The most important tools necessary to establish and lead an Independent structure for managing Anti-Doping overall activities are provided in this section through the CADF example. The “CADF model” can be exported and adapted to the other sport organizations, taking into account the peculiarities of each sport and the available resources.

Governance and staff
Independence is reinforced by the Governance. More specifically, by the Foundation board and the Funding Committee composition and functions.
CADF Foundation board: The CADF Foundation’s board role is to guide and oversee the work of the CADF executive team through regular meetings and reports, in order to verify that the organization and activities comply with Swiss Law, UCI rules, WADA code and related technical documents and scope of defined activities; it is composed of experts in the key areas of Anti-Doping, legal services and finance.
The reasonable minimum number of members considering a volume of activities as the ones in CADF is 5 and 3 are highly recommended: a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, the other two should be experts in the Anti-Doping field.
The crucial point is that none of the members belongs to the Funding Committee.
CADF Funding Committee: As part of its unique independent structure, the CADF is entirely funded by stakeholders from the Cycling World: Men Professional Road cycling teams, Organisers, UCI and riders.
The Funding Committee acts as consultative body with the respect the CADF mission’s and activities to ensure that the key stakeholders who provide funding for the CADF are regularly informed about its activities and to formalise the process by which they can meet to raise questions and make propositions to the CADF Foundation Board.
The CADF Funding Committee meets at the end of the season to review the past year’s account and set the new budget.
CADF Executive Team and staff: The Executive Team, composed by a director and a deputy director, heads a 9 people team. The in competition and out of competition testing areas are the heart of the operational activities, the Intelligence area is the heart of the strategic activities. Services areas can be considered the initial review of results area and the administrative assistance for the Therapeutic Use Exemptions management.
The Executive team reports to the CADF Foundation Board and also meets regularly with the CADF Funding Committee.

Contribution and expenses
Around 80% of the CADF budget comes from the teams, the riders and the event organisers: UCI contribution is not the most important and this is another guarantee of Independence. (Table 1)
The CADF manages internally its own budget and its financial status is audited every year by and external independent company based in Switzerland. 

Table 1: contributions from stakeholders in 2015 – this does not include legal costs borne by UCI and certain logistical costs borne by Organisers

Testing and initial review of results: The CADF mandate is to develop and implement the doping control strategy on behalf of UCI and implement an effective intelligent and proportionate Test Distribution plan (TDP) based on a comprehensive risk assessment as described in the WADA ISTI [3]. Such TDP prioritizes appropriately among disciplines, categories of riders, types of testing, types of samples collected and type of samples analysed.
Furthermore, any rider who is part of the Athlete Biological Passport programme will be subject to blood and urine tests collected during out of in competition testing missions for the purposes of the haematological and steroidal profiles respectively.
Blood and urine may be collected during a race, preparation/training periods or during the off season and riders should expected to provide a blood or urine sample at anytime and anywhere.
All samples will be collected by qualified personnel appointed by CADF, Samples collection agencies or National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs). All relevant doping control forms information is entered into ADAMS.
The samples are exclusively analysed in WADA accredited laboratories and according to the WADA International Standard for Laboratories [4].
The CADF checks that all results are correctly uploaded into ADAMS by the laboratories and conducts a preliminary scientific and administrative results management assessment in case of Atypical or Adverse Analytical Findings.
All samples can be submitted for long term storage for future re-analysis and investigations.
The CADF cooperates with NADOs in order to optimise and strength the testing strategy.
Athlete Biological Passport: Through the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), the CADF is conducting one of the most comprehensive Anti-Doping testing programmes in the world of sport as reported in the WADA statistics [5].
In 2008 the CADF, on behalf of UCI, was the first organization to fully introduce the ABP in blood which is the most advanced scientific tools for indirect detection of doping in riders.
The ABP is an individual, electronic record for each rider, in which the results of individual urine and blood tests over a period of time are collated.
For each rider the passport contains:

  • An haematological profile consisting of the combined results of haematological parameters analysed in a series of blood samples
  • A steroid profile consisting of the combined results of anabolic steroid levels in a series of urine samples

In accordance with Anti-Doping regulations and guidelines, all riders representing all disciplines in cycling, can be subject to testing in the framework of the ABP programme.
The ABP is a powerful tool for clean sport, for this reason is at the heart of the CADF Anti-Doping programme. It provides indirect evidence of the use of prohibited substances or methods and it has been accepted as proof of doping, allowing riders to be sanctioned even though they have not provided a positive sample. A further advantage of the ABP programme is that enables testing to be better targeted. Riders with abnormal profile, but not sufficiently abnormal to be involved in an ADRV, are subjected to more rigorous scrutiny. Another big benefit of the ABP programme is that it acts as deterrent for any rider who may be tempted to use prohibited methods to enhance the performance.
Register Testing Pool management: UCI delegated to CADF the full management of the UCI Registered testing pool (RTP) which is the reference pool of riders submitted to the whereabouts requirements. Whereabouts information is managed by CADF exclusively through ADAMS and is an indispensable tool to locate athletes at any time in order to be submitted to no advance notice tests. The RTP is established on certain criteria, including, without limitation, UCI rankings, performances, disciplinary hearings outcome, intelligence information and other factors determined by CADF, UCI and UCI Anti-Doping Commission.
Cooperation: Cooperation with WADA, NADOs, and Public authorities is crucial for the CADF to strengthen its network and build an effective Anti-Doping program. National Anti-Doping Organizations and the CADF are working together specifically in the framework of the Athlete Biological Passport programme by sharing data and testing plans in order for each athlete to have one single and comprehensive passport composed of UCI and NADO data. This collaboration allows also to optimise the use of resources and testing capabilities and to gather and exchange intelligence, in order to increase the testing programme efficiency and build potential investigations.
Intelligence and Investigation-report doping: The implementation of the new WADA International Standard for testing and Investigations in 2015 gave a new impetus to the fight against doping and extended the range of actions.
The CADF executive management replied to this new challenge appointing an Intelligence coordinator with specific professional skills and experience that enhances the CADF’s ability to gather and develop Anti-Doping intelligence, to liaise with other Anti-Doping organizations and public authorities in order to disseminate and to optimize the analysis of information coming from different sources and to improve the testing strategy.
The CADF has invested in dedicated software already used by the law enforcement agencies in order to be more effective.
Furthermore, due to the fact that whistle-blowing is considered as a fundamental and legitimate source of information, a specific e-mail address (reportdoping@cadf.ch) has been created to give everyone an opportunity to report any doping suspicion about athletes supporting staff or entourage anonymously or not.
The CADF guarantees the full confidentiality and protection of sources.
ISO and management of claims: The CADF achieved his first ISO certification in 2013. The most updated certificate states that CADF is certified for the management of Anti-Doping activities on behalf of UCI including planning effective testing, Register Testing Pool (RTP) management, In-and Out-of-Competition Testing, Biological Passport Program (haematological and Steroidal) Results Management (Initial Review) and administrative support for the management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE).
The CADF is submitted to a yearly audit to renew its certification.
As part of its Quality Management Process, the CADF is obliged to take into account all feedbacks from stakeholders in order to improve its processes wherever necessary. In the scope of the claim management, an e-mail address (claim@cadf.ch) is available.


In 2015, with a budget of less than 6 million Swiss francs, the CADF was able to process 13’437 samples, which, according to WADA statistics, this is the most comprehensive program implemented by an International Federation.
Independence is the most important and strong point of CADF structure and modus operandi, and this independence is reinforced by the Foundation Board; where none of the members are linked to UCI. Another important point related to independence is that the UCI is not the main funding stakeholder.
In our opinion, if a model such the CADF should be considered for implementation in other sports, it would be of considerable benefit to incorporate an in-house legal service. This will allow the model to include Results Management into its structure.


We would like to thanks all CADF staff for their strong commitment in the CADF activities; thank you also to the CADF Foundation Board for the support and to all the Cycling World that believes in CADF mission;
Furthermore, thank you to UCI for trusting the CADF project from the beginning and, thanks to the success achieved, for having strengthened the Independence along the years.

Corresponding author

Francesca Rossi, PhD
CADF Director
Chemin de la Mêlée, 12
1860 Aigle
Phone: +41 24 468 58 67
e-mail: francesca.rossi@cadf.ch


  1. World Anti-Doping Agency-2015 WADA code https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/the-code/world-anti-doping-code (accessed 23.09.2016)
  2. UCI-2015 UCI Testing and Investigation rules http://www.uci.ch/mm/Document/News/CleanSport/17/47/44/UCITIREN.2016_English.pdf (accessed 23.09.2016)
  3. WADA. International standards: Testing and Investigation January 2015, https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/WADA-2015-ISTI-Final-EN.pdf (accessed 23.09.2016)
  4. WADA. International standards: Laboratories January 2015. https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/WADA-ISL-2015-Final-v8.0-EN.pdf (accessed 23.09.2016)
  5. WADA statistics: 2014 Anti-Doping Testing Figures, https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/wada_2014_anti-doping-testing-figures_full-report_en.pdf (accessed 23.09.2016)

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