Swiss Sport Integrity Foundation reports budget overrun in "intensive" 2023. 'X' / SWISS SPORT INTEGRITY

Over 40 percent more reports were received by the independent Ethics Violation Reporting and Investigation Service in Swiss sport compared to 2022. The year also saw record numbers of drug tests with Swiss Sport Integrity stepping up preventive anti-doping measures.

In 2023, the independent Ethics Violation Reporting and Investigation Service in Swiss sport received a total of 374 reports, a increase of over 40 percent on the previous year's total of 264 reports. Precautionary measures were taken 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 handed down judgments in three cases last year. 

The issues reported range from organisational grievances to discrimination and psychological, physical and sexual transgressions. The number of reports, the amount of investigative work often required against this backdrop and the complexity of the proceedings continue to be a challenge for Swiss Sport Integrity. 

As the available human resources are low compared to the number of reports received, and as the procedures involved are often complex and lengthy, there was an increased need for external expertise and support. This additional effort resulted in a budget overrun of CHF 360,000 (368,229 euros) during the reporting year. 

Thanks to the additional funding promised by FOSPO and Swiss Olympic, the financing of this growing need for human resources and external expertise has been secured for the future. Processes are also being optimised.

Swiss Sport Integrity experienced an intense 2023. X' / SWISS SPORT INTEGRITY
Swiss Sport Integrity experienced an intense 2023. X' / SWISS SPORT INTEGRITY

As part of its domestic control strategy, more doping tests were carried out (2,712) and more samples collected (4,001) than ever before. There were 1,806 out-of-competition tests and 906 in-competition tests, of which 153 were Dried Blood Spot (DBS) tests. This new innovative testing method was successfully introduced and received positive feedback from the athletes tested. 

The number of prohibited substance seizures (mainly 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 rules under private law and prosecuted accordingly under disciplinary law. 

In 2023, Swiss Sport Integrity issued a results management decision in six cases. In three other cases, an agreement was reached with the athletes to close the case. Last year, the DC also issued five decisions on doping offences, resulting in five sanctions with bans ranging from two to four years. 

A further three cases were concluded before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with one agreement for a three-year ban and two convictions resulting in four-year bans. 

Swiss Sport Integrity's preventive measures to ensure clean sport were once again successfully intensified in 2023. More than 6,300 people in competitive sport were reached and made aware of anti-doping issues through 218 training courses and workshops. In addition to the popular information session for parents of athletes (over 250 participants), a specific webinar for sports physicians and support staff was launched last year. 

The use of the Medication Inquiry Service has risen sharply, just shy of the record level of 200,000 searches. This suggests that the prevention measures are having an impact and that athletes are becoming more actively informed and aware of the risks. For the first time, the athlete survey also prioritised doping prevention over increased testing and harsh penalties or long bans.