The Clean Protocol™ has been designed on advice from a range of experts including PhD’s in pshychology, neuroscience and sports physiology.  The system has been meticulously compiled to give the highest level of confidence in the Clean Protocol™ certification.

The Clean Protocol™ is not a lie detector test and doesn’t use polygraph technology. It uses a unique system of 9 levels of multi-tiered verification to deliver the most advanced system of clean sports authentication.

9 Levels of The Clean Protocol™

1 - The Clean Contract
The first step for the athlete is to sign the Clean Contract which is a simple contractual commitment to abide by the rules of the sport and to submit themselves to the Clean Protocol™ which requires the provision of certain information and to be available for certain testing procedures explained below.
2 - Whoabouts™ - Disclose Entourage
The athlete or sportsperson must make full disclosure of all of the people they work with to achieve their sports performance.  Currently athletes in the WADA testing pool must disclose their whereabouts which is very onerous.  The Clean Protocol™ has developed the Whoabouts™ system to determine who is likely to have an influence on the athlete in their decision to dope or be clean.  In most of the doping scandals the athlete alone is rarely responsible for the systemic doping problems and knowing who they are working with can be a valuable tool to achieve the transparency required for clean sport. It means that the athlete must disclose who is their coach, trainers, carers, doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists, team manager, training partners and if their parents assist them with their sports performance then disclose them as well.
3 - Encourage Entourage
Once the Whoabouts™ is disclosed the next step is to also have those persons in their sports entourage take the Clean Protocol™ and make the same commitment to clean sport.  This achieves important social reinforcement and sends a powerful message to all those involved with the athlete.  It is fair as it puts all of those who benefit from sport to the same level of scrutiny as the athlete without being too onerous. When an athlete’s sports entourage are also subjected to the multi-tiered verification as well the certainty of clean performance under the Clean Protocol™ system becomes even more robust. Multiple testing and reference points from members of the sports entourage can improve the overall accuracy of the system eg. 85% accuracy goes to 97.75% accuracy with two sources and 99.97% with three.
4 - Transparency of Biological Data
Then for reasons of transparency an athlete who is clean will publish their biological data that they are in possession of as a result of compliance with the biological passport or from their own testing from other sources.  Manipulation of the blood vector is most prevalent in endurance sports so this step may not be relevant for some sports and the Clean Protocol™ does envisage that there may be different requirements for different sports. Ultimately that may be determined by the clean athletes of each sport for their benefit.
5 - Intelligence Gathering
Intelligence gathering is also a feature of the Clean Protocol™ which involves the collation of information from the athlete such as their event schedule, their injuries, the use of supplements and any therapeutic use exemptions.  Furthermore it is expected that the sharing of information with sports federations and other anti-doping bodies will further reinforce the system.  This method is already an accepted method used for the targeting of testing eg. UCI Suspicion Index.  This aspect of the Clean Protocol™ is expected to develop further over time but is a recognition of the commitment to the highest standards of verification available.  Intelligence gathering will be used to improve the targeting of random testing under the Clean Protocol™.
6 - Psychometric Testing

 Clean Protocol™  is the first program to employ psychometric testing in a tiered approach to athlete/entourage authentication. Attitudes towards performance enhancing substances are considered a useful proxy for likelihood of doping behavior when objective testing is not feasible (Petroczi and Aidman 2009, Petroczi et al. 2010).  At this time the Performance Enhancement Attitudes Scale (PEAS) is the only test scientifically validated to quantify athlete’s attitudes towards doping (Morente-Sanchez and Zabala, 2013). As a first line measure the PEAS allows  Clean Protocol™ to begin to stratify athletes and their entourage into high and low PEDs abuse categories. Similarly, the Paulhus Deception Scales adds a validated measure of Social Desirability Bias to overcome some of the problems with self report measures such as the PEAS. This test offers a first line psychometric test to screen for those who may try to game or beat the system. These and additional tests to be introduced in the future will be used to create a psychometric profile of PEDs abuse risk. Authentication at this level is contingent on a low to moderate risk profile rating.

Petroczi A, Aidman E. Measuring explicit attitude toward doping: review of the psychometric properties of the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale. Psychol Sport Exer. 2009;10:390–6.

Petróczi A, Aidman EV, Hussain I, Deshmukh N, Nepusz T, Uvacsek M, Tóth M, Barker J, Naughton DP. Virtue or pretense? Looking behind self-declared innocence
in doping. PLoS One. 2010 May 5;5(5)

Morente-Sánchez J, Zabala M. Doping in Sport: A Review of Elite Athletes’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Knowledge. Sports Med. 2013 Jun;43(6):395-411

7 - Deception Testing

One of the ultimate goals of Clean Protocol™ is to implement the best evidence based tools to verify the commitment of Clean Protocol™ athletes to ethical competition. The key concept of the Clean Protocol™ approach is that the time of testing must overlap with the window for detection. Otherwise, testing is of little value beyond deterrence. For this reason, Clean Protocol™ will focus on the detection of concealed information and deception. Unlike the performance enhancing substances that are washed out of the body while the benefits persist, the deception and concealment of information must persist or the athlete is caught. Recently, significant improvements have been made in concealed information detection with evidence supporting efficacy where the traditional western polygraph has previously failed (Ben-Shakhar 2012, Matsuda et al. 2012). For purposes of Clean Protocol™ several methods have been identified as having best potential for implementation in the near future:

1. Implicit Association Testing – A potential low cost option requiring only computer access. The test looks for subconscious associations between concealed information and positive and negative items (Petroczi et al. 2011).

2. Ocular Motor Deception Testing – A potential moderate cost option that will require specialized equipment and software that may soon be commercially available. The test detects characteristic changes in eye movement patterns in response to concealed information (Cook et al. 2012).

3. Symptom Validity Testing – A potential low cost option requiring only computer access. The test utilizes forced choice responses and statistical methods to detect intentional avoidance of concealed information (Meijer et al. 2007, Nahari and Ben-Shakhar 2011).

4. Response Time Latency – A potential low cost option requiring only computer access. The test utilizes forced choice responses and response time to detect behavioral differences in response to concealed information (Seymour et al. 2000, Vershchuere et al. 2010).

5. Functional MRI – A potential high cost option that may be available at specialized centers. The test uses brain imaging to identify characteristic brain activity in response to concealed information (Gamer et al. 2007, Gamer et al 2012).

Works Cited

Ben-Shakhar G. Current research and potential applications of the concealed information test: an overview. Front Psychol. 2012;3:342.

Cook AE, Hacker DJ, Webb AK, Osher D, Kristjansson SD, Woltz DJ, Kircher JC. Lyin’ eyes: ocular-motor measures of reading reveal deception. J Exp Psychol Appl. 2012 Sep;18(3):301-13.

Gamer M, Bauermann T, Stoeter P, Vossel G. Covariations among fMRI, skin conductance, and behavioral data during processing of concealed information. Hum Brain Mapp. 2007 Dec;28(12):1287-301.

Gamer M, Klimecki O, Bauermann T, Stoeter P, Vossel G. fMRI-activation patterns in the detection of concealed information rely on memory-related effects. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012 Jun;7(5):506-15.

Matsuda I, Nittono H, Allen JJ. The current and future status of the concealed information test for field use. Front Psychol. 2012;3:532.

Meijer EH, Smulders FT, Johnston JE, Merckelbach HL. Combining skin conductance and forced choice in the detection of concealed information. Psychophysiology. 2007 Sep;44(5):814-22.

Nahari G, Ben-Shakhar G. Psychophysiological and behavioral measures for detecting concealed information: the role of memory for crime details. Psychophysiology. 2011 Jun;48(6):733-44.

Petróczi A, Uvacsek M, Nepusz T, Deshmukh N, Shah I, Aidman EV, Barker J, Tóth M, Naughton DP. Incongruence in doping related attitudes, beliefs and opinions in the context of discordant behavioural data: in which measure do we trust? PLoS One. 2011 Apr 26;6(4)

Seymour TL, Seifert CM, Shafto MG, Mosmann AL. Using response time measures to assess “guilty knowledge”. J Appl Psychol. 2000 Feb;85(1):30-7.

Vershchuere B, Crombez G, Degroote T, Rosseel Y. Detecting concealed information with reaction times: validity and comparison with the polygraph. Appl Cog Psyc. 2010 Oct;24(7):99-1002.

 

8 - Legally Binding Statement (optional)
The Athlete may be asked to execute a legally binding statement depending on their domicile and relevant jurisdiction, for example in the Commonwealth countries this would take the form of a statutory declaration or in the United States it would be a statement under penalty of perjury.  These statements would confirm that the athlete complies with the doping rules of their sport but it has the effect that if it were to be false that may be prosecuted under the laws of their country and may be considered to be a crime.  For that reason it is a very serious undertaking and only resorted to with the full consent of the athlete.
9 - FMRI (optional)
Undertake a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) deception test which has a reported accuracy of up to greater than 97%+ but is generally considered to be cost prohibitive in all but exceptional circumstances. This technology measures brain activity by changes in the blood flow from the difference in brain activity associated with truth telling versus deception. This method of testing will be dependent on availability of resources and testing equipment.

 

Once these levels are passed the sportsperson is Clean Protocol™ Certified or if they are failed at anytime their Clean Protocol™ status will be revoked.

The Gold Standard

Constant improvement is expected as the Clean Protocol develops a data base over time.  By involving independent experts and a commitment to improve the process it is hoped the Clean Protocol will remain the gold standard for certification of sports credibility.