The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) Team’s Report regarding the anti-doping program at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. As it has done at a number of major events since 2000, upon invitation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA sent an observer team to the Games with the aim of reinforcing confidence in athletes and the public as to the quality, effectiveness and reliability of the Games’ anti-doping program.
To that end, the team provided real-time feedback in order to suggest areas of ongoing improvement to the program while also writing a post-event Report, including recommendations for potential longer-term improvements for future editions of the Games.
Chairman of the IO team Ben McDevitt said: “Like most Olympic Games, PyeongChang 2018 presented some unique challenges and opportunities from a doping control perspective. These were the first Winter Olympic Games since the revelations of institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process at Sochi 2014.
“The IO team was impressed by the open and active engagement we received on the ground from anti-doping stakeholders including the IOC and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC). Notwithstanding a number of issues and challenges highlighted in the Report, the IO team was generally satisfied with the end-to-end doping control arrangements put in place for the Games and congratulates all concerned on the considerable investments, efforts and opportunities that were seized upon to protect clean sport.”
The IO team monitored all aspects of the anti-doping program in PyeongChang, including test distribution planning, the selection of competitors for testing, notification of doping control, the Therapeutic Use Exemption procedure, chain of custody, sample analysis and Results Management.
As is the case following all IO team missions, the Report includes a number of recommendations for the IOC, the LOC and WADA itself – all designed to enhance anti-doping activities at future Games.
A full copy of the Report can be found here.