WADA publishes Independent Observer Team Report for 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games

beijing io report

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) Team Report regarding the anti-doping program of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, which were held from 4-20 February 2022.

WADA’s IO program is an important element of WADA’s compliance monitoring of Major Event Organizations. IO Teams provide an independent review of all aspects of the anti-doping programs as delivered at major events around the globe, including the Olympic Games.

WADA’s IO Team for the Olympic Games in Beijing was comprised of recognized anti-doping experts, including WADA staff and other Anti-Doping Organizations’ specialists. The Team worked in collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA) that operated the Games’ anti-doping program on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The ITA was supported by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) and the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA). This cooperative approach was designed to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the program in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards.

During the Games, IO Team members visited various event venues on a daily basis to observe how elements of the anti-doping program were being implemented. The Team would then meet to review their reports and identify any issues or potential improvement points. In particular, the IO Team focused its observations on:

  • Test distribution planning and implementation;
  • Recruitment and training of sample collection personnel;
  • Athlete selection, notification and sample collection procedures;
  • Transport and chain of custody of samples;
  • Sample analysis at the laboratory;
  • Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) procedures; and
  • Results management processes.

IO Team Chair for the Olympic Games, Hitesh Patel (United Kingdom), who is the Rapporteur to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, said:  “It was a privilege to lead WADA’s Independent Observer (IO) Team for the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.  As the Report highlights, the IO Team was impressed by the anti-doping program implemented for the Games and congratulates the International Olympic Committee, the International Testing Agency, Beijing 2022, the Beijing Laboratory, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the China Anti-Doping Agency and other key partners who contributed to this positive outcome. This involved hundreds of dedicated individuals from around the world that collaborated effectively before, during and after the Games to deliver a robust anti-doping program and protect the integrity of the Games. In addition to highlighting the strengths of the program, the Report also identifies a number of recommendations for key stakeholders to consider for future Games.”

“Above all, we must recognize the athletes who, despite the challenging circumstances presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic, played a central role in contributing to a successful Games.”