Mobile device designed to simplify doping control
Unannounced doping controls – that means a lot of restrictions for both competitive athletes as well as doping control officers (DCOs): submission of a detailed schedule of the day’s activities on the part of the athlete, and unnecessary trips into the field on the part of the DCO if the athlete’s schedule changed at the last minute. The eves client was designed to make this process easier. The wearable device sends out a signal from the location of the wearer after receiving a specific request from the DCO. A survey shows that both athletes and DCOs approve of such a device.
Competitive athletes agree: the Anti-Doping Admission and Administration System (ADAMS), used in Germany since 2007, is cumbersome. All locations have to be entered in advance. If a DCO is unable to locate an athlete and the athlete thus misses a test, the athlete is at risk of disqualifying for an event. DCOs also voice negative feedback: athletes do not disclose their “whereabouts” voluntarily because compliance is a requirement for participating in competitions. Transmission of data abroad is problematic, as is privacy protection of third parties, for example the athlete’s partner, as data is gathered about that individual as well.
The eves client was designed to simplify this situation for both athletes and DCOs. The device is small enough to fit inside a pocket or can be fastened onto clothes. It transmits the location of an athlete when it receives a request to do so by a DCO via an encrypted channel. These requests are then logged and can be viewed by the athlete. The device does not show the whereabouts of the athlete continually. Basic information necessary to plan control rounds is still provided to DCOs via ADAMS. The eves client simply allows athletes greater freedom and better data protection because the athlete’s location is only transmitted upon specific requests. It does not record a pattern of movement. With the device, the risk of “missed tests” is reduced – which results in time savings on the part of DCOs and less costs for the institutions involved.
Survey evidences interest in an eves client
880 competitive athletes, including Olympians from London and Sochi, as well as 80 DCOs were surveyed regarding this concept in October. The response was positive: 69 percent of DCOs and 56 percent of athletes indicate that such a localization device would reduce their work load. The response of athletes who had already missed a test was even more positive -70 percent. Other factors include concerns regarding the security of data stored with ADAMS: 84 percent of the competitive athletes surveyed are very concerned about data security and would like to know where the data collected is stored. 81 percent want to be assured that their data is protected from unauthorized access and misuse.
The survey also asked questions regarding the timeliness of ADAMS: a third of DCOs complained that last minute schedule changes on the part of athletes were the main cause of missed tests. However, 80 percent of athletes insist that the data they entered into ADAMS always, or almost always, corresponds to their actual whereabouts. However, two thirds of RTP athletes also indicated they had already missed tests. Should eves be implemented, almost two thirds of those surveyed would not change their diligent use of ADAMS.
An app that came on the market in 2014 also generated great interest. Using this app, athletes could make changes to their schedule in ADAMS while on the go. Just a few months after launch, this app was used by approx. two thirds of those surveyed. More than half of the users indicated that they had not considered security gaps in the app; 43 percent acknowledged that the app has to access several smartphone services. Despite a demonstrated high degree of sensitivity with regard to data protection, athletes seem to be willing to try any available means that will lead to improved usability. eves meets these needs and also provides a high level of data security and transparency.