Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) advised Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) worldwide of the Agency’s approach for monitoring the integrity of anti-doping testing in light of the Covid-19 virus; and called on ADOs to prioritize health and safety while protecting the integrity of doping control programs. This follows WADA’s announcement concerning testing of Chinese athletes; and, WADA’s announcement that it was cancelling its Annual Symposium that was to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland.
WADA Director General, Olivier Niggli, said: “WADA continues to watch the evolving Covid-19 situation closely with particular regard to how the virus may impact the conduct of anti-doping testing activity worldwide. To that end, WADA urges all ADOs to follow the advice of local health authorities to ensure proper protection of athletes and doping control personnel; while, protecting the integrity of doping control programs, particularly in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
To support this important balance, WADA will closely monitor testing activity in regions affected by Covid-19 to detect any possible testing ‘gaps’ that may need to be addressed. If it is determined that there has been an absence or diminished level of testing on athletes in areas of higher risk, this information will be conveyed on to the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, as well as any other ADO with a major event in the coming months, which would benefit from such information to adjust their testing programs accordingly. This includes the Pre-Tokyo Olympic Games Task Force, which is being led by the International Testing Agency.
WADA encouraged ADOs to advise the Agency of any amendments that they are making to their testing programs so that WADA can coordinate and assist as necessary.