The World’s First Anti-Doping Dog Helps Authorities Nab Drug Cheats in Sweden

Molly is the world’s first anti-doping dog, who has recently begun working in Sweden.

“She can detect a lot of substances, of course, steroids and of course testosterone, and there are a lot of other substances too that she can detect. She can detect powder, tablets and even ampules with liquid in them, closed ampules with liquid, she will detect them as well. It’s also a little bit exciting with Molly, because she is the world’s first anti-doping dog only trained for doping substances, and then we continue from there; to inform the team, we go through the locker rooms, training areas and even the trash cans and bins, where substances have been thrown away,” the Swedish Sports Federation’s anti-doping officer Michael Sjoo said.

The four-year-old Springer Spaniel started her new job last spring. She turns up unannounced with her handlers at sporting events to perform searches. People don’t respond to her presence like they would if she were a large breed drug sniffer dog.

“I think it’s a positive reaction because she doesn’t look so scary. She’s a very nice dog, and most of the people like what we are doing and what she is doing, so I think in general it is positive,” the Swedish Sports Federation’s anti-doping officer Joanna Sjoo said.

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom Anti-Doping organization said that it is also looking to use sniffer dogs at sporting events.

“I already know that different anti-doping organizations are also looking into this thing, with a new anti-doping dog. We need new tools. Of course, we test the athletes now for urine and more for blood but we need to find something else. I mean, we know the customs and what they do for narcotics, and I think we’re going to go that way as an extra tool for a dog too,” Michael Sjoo said.

He expects that other dogs will be trained like Molly, as Swedish authorities seek new ways to nab drug cheats.

Over the past few years, doping in sport has become a scandalous issue, and Molly will be the first dog to try and resolve this issue.