February 6, 2014
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Athlete Outreach and Independent Observer Mission at the center of WADA Sochi 2014 role

WADA to run Independent Observer and Athlete Outreach Programs, monitor Therapeutic Use Exemptions and retain Right of Appeal for anti-doping decisions at Winter Games

With two days remaining until the official opening of the Games, WADA has announced that athlete awareness and independent observation will once again be at the center of its important Sochi 2014 role.

As the world’s best winter sport athletes prepare to compete in the Olympic (February 7-23) and Paralympic (March 7-16) Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Sochi Organizing Committee for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games (SOCHI 2014) are forming a significant anti-doping partnership aimed at ensuring a doping free Games.

While the IOC, IPC and event organizer SOCHI 2014 oversee anti-doping controls during the period of the two Games, WADA will retain an important role at the invitation of the IOC and the IPC, as it has done since Sydney 2000. This role will see WADA conduct the Independent Observer (IO) and Athlete Outreach Programs, monitor Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) and retain its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in respect of decisions made by the IOC and IPC for doping cases.

“The Games require the full contribution of the entire sporting community to prevent doping cheats from competing in Sochi,” said WADA President Sir Craig Reedie.

“In this major anti-doping partnership, WADA functions as an independent international organization – a monitoring and coordinating body that has, and will continue to encourage the most robust and efficient anti-doping program that we have ever seen.

“Rigorous and coordinated anti-doping measures maintain the integrity of the Games, and give our athletes confidence that significant efforts are being made to protect their right to compete in clean and fair sport.”

Independent Observer (IO) Program

WADA will have an Independent Observer (IO) Mission in Sochi to monitor the various phases of doping control and results management processes at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Expert teams – led by Andy Parkinson   and Katharina Grimm  for the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively - will observe the program, provide feedback and make on-the-spot suggestions. This audit-style approach will ensure real time progress is made, and will provide athletes and the public further confidence in the anti-doping system. Athlete Outreach Program

WADA’s Athlete Outreach Program will be an active, accessible and visible presence at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, providing athletes with a fun and enjoyable way to learn about this most serious of issues.

Anti-doping experts, retired athletes and WADA Athlete Committee members will staff Outreach Centers at each of the Athlete Villages. These Centers will allow athletes and their support personnel to understand more about the dangers and consequences of doping, and create awareness of an athlete’s rights and responsibilities. Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)

Athletes with a documented medical condition that requires the use of a prohibited substance or method must secure what is known as a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) under the criteria specified in the Code’s International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE).

Most athletes requiring a TUE are expected to have one in place well in advance of Sochi 2014. However, in compliance with the 2014 Anti-Doping Rules for Sochi, athletes can alternatively apply to the IOC or IPC for a TUE to cover their participation in the Games.

During the Sochi Games, WADA will monitor the applications for, and approval of, TUEs. WADA’s Right of Appeal

All anti-doping disciplinary actions in relation to the Games, including sanctions and disqualifications, are taken by the IOC and IPC. As with all anti-doping decisions, these can be appealed to the CAS, which will operate a special ad hoc court during the Games to allow for speedy hearings and decisions.

As is consistent with the Code, WADA has the right to appeal decisions made by the IOC or IPC on any anti-doping case connected to the Games. For more detailed information on WADA’s role at Sochi 2014, read the Sochi Edition of Play True magazine (p. 15).