The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) team’s report regarding the anti-doping program at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games (PyeongChang 2018). As it has done at a number of major events since 2000, upon invitation from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), 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 to the IPC and the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (POCOG) 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.
Chair of the IO team Pirjo Ruutu said: “Just like any major sporting event, a number of obstacles and opportunities were faced by the organizers of PyeongChang 2018 when it came to doping control. The IO team did note a number of issues during the Games, which are highlighted in the report. But overall, athletes can be very satisfied with the high-quality anti-doping program put in place for PyeongChang 2018.
“The IO team was well received by the IPC and POCOG and was afforded every assistance on the ground. The IPC should be commended for its strong commitment to clean sport and for the high standards of its anti-doping policies and procedures when dealing with athletes with impairments.”
The IO team monitored all aspects of the anti-doping program in PyeongChang, including test distribution planning, sample collection sessions, Therapeutic Use Exemptions, results management, rules and procedures, the work of doping control personnel, and education.
As is the case following all IO team missions, the report includes a number of recommendations for the IPC, POCOG and WADA itself – all designed to enhance anti-doping activities at future Games.