WADA publishes Independent Observer Team Reports from 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) Teams’ Reports regarding the anti-doping programs of the:
- 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which were held from 23 July – 8 August 2021; and
- 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, which were held from 24 August – 5 September 2021.
The anti-doping program of the Olympic Games was carried out by the International Testing Agency (ITA) on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), while the anti-doping program of the Paralympic Games was carried out by the International Paralympic Committee.
As WADA has done for a number of Major Events since 2000, the Agency sent IO Teams to Tokyo to monitor the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ anti-doping programs. The aim of the IO Program is to reinforce confidence in athletes and the public as to the quality, effectiveness, and reliability of the anti-doping programs conducted.
The IO Teams collaborated closely with the IOC, the ITA, the IPC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, providing general support prior to the Games and real-time feedback during the Games. This approach is designed to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the programs in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards.
Both IO Teams were composed of international experts in anti-doping who observed and provided feedback on all aspects of doping control. This included the implementation of general anti-doping policies and procedures; test distribution planning; implementation of out-of-competition and in-competition testing programs; athlete selection and notification; 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 were held during the IO Teams’ presence. The Olympic IO Team also observed the operations of the WADA-accredited laboratory.
IO Team Chair for the Olympic Games, Francesca Rossi (Italy), who is the Director of Testing of the National Anti-Doping Agency of France (AFLD), said: “The anti-doping program, which was managed by the ITA on behalf of the IOC, was robust and comprehensive in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards. The ITA was also able to count on the crucial support of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency. The IO Team congratulates and thanks everyone involved for their commitment in protecting the integrity of the Games by successfully delivering the anti-doping program, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Games postponement by one year. The IO Report highlights the strengths of the program and issues recommendations to consider for future editions of the Games. It also reflects the unique impacts that COVID-19 had on the 2020 Tokyo Games that affected the global Olympic Movement during its stay in Tokyo.”
IO Team Chair for the Paralympic Games, Jenny Schulze (Sweden), who is the Manager of Testing and Science of the National Anti-Doping Agency of Sweden, said: “On behalf of the IO Team, I would like to commend the IPC for its strong commitment to clean sport. The anti-doping program at the Paralympic Games, which the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee successfully implemented, was comprehensive and based on a solid and elaborate risk assessment. The IO Report highlights the strength of the program as well as recommendations for the IPC, future Organizing Committees, the National Paralympic Committees and WADA to consider for future Games. The IO Team extends our thanks to the IPC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee for an excellent working relationship before, during and after the Games.”