The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced details of its Independent Observer (IO) program, confirming that it will be sending a three-member team of observers to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which runs from 4-15 April in Australia.
As was the case at previous Commonwealth Games in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006), Delhi (2010) and Glasgow (2014), WADA will operate the team to monitor the anti-doping program run by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) with assistance from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
In addition to ongoing collaboration with the CGF Medical Commission and providing general support prior to the Games, the team will provide real-time feedback to the CGF designed to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the program in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “Part of any effective anti-doping program is the constant striving for improvement and that is what the IO program is all about. To that end, WADA’s IO team will play an important role at Gold Coast 2018 in monitoring the implementation of the CGF’s anti-doping program, which we are confident will be carried out professionally. Once the Games are complete, we will publish a full report outlining the findings of the group along with any recommendations.”
CGF President Louise Martin said: “As our resurgent Commonwealth and Commonwealth Sports Movement continues to become increasingly relevant globally, it is essential that our showpiece event, the Commonwealth Games, upholds the absolute highest standards of fairness and equality, and continues to be an international leader with its anti-doping program.
“We pride ourselves on being ‘the people’s Games’ and that is why it is essential that we have the trust of both athletes and sports fans worldwide, not least through a robust anti-doping program. This is why we, the CGF, welcome the opportunity to have WADA’s Independent Observation mission in place to observe all aspects of the Games’ doping-control process.”
Led by WADA Deputy Director of Standards and Harmonization, Stuart Kemp, the team is composed of international experts in anti-doping, who will observe and provide feedback on all aspects of doping control. This includes the development and implementation of general anti-doping policies and procedures; test distribution planning; selection of competitors for testing; notification of doping control; Therapeutic Use Exemption procedures; sample collection procedures; the transport of samples and their chain of custody; and the Results Management process including any hearings that might be held.
Upon the conclusion of the Games, the IO team’s report will be sent to the CGF and made publicly available.
Also, in connection with the work being carried out by WADA’s Prevalence Working Group, WADA and the CGF signed a letter of intention to carry out a pilot study to validate a survey method among athletes during the Games. WADA’s Prevalence Working Group was re-established in 2017 with the objective of developing a tool or set of tools to estimate the prevalence of doping in sports and countries and to enable measurement of the impact of anti-doping policies and actions on the prevalence of doping over time.