WADA welcomes enhanced long-term sample storage and re-analysis program

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomes today’s announcement by the International Testing Agency (ITA) that it is rolling out and managing a global long-term sample storage and further analysis program on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In the past decade, the long-term storage and further analysis of samples has emerged as an important strategy in the protection of clean sport. Today, under the World Anti-Doping Code, samples can be stored for up to 10 years after their initial analysis and still retain the same legal impact if analyzed further and prosecuted.

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “WADA is fully supportive of this initiative and commends the IOC and ITA for their work in this area. The long-term storage of samples for further analysis has proven to be an important tool in the protection of clean sport. As detection methods are constantly being improved and updated, retaining samples for 10 years means that those who have cheated cannot rest easy for a full decade after they have been tested.

“It is a requirement under the 2021 International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) that Signatories must have a written strategy for storage and further analysis as part of their testing programs and I am confident this policy will have a further impact in the years to come.  Furthermore, this storage and further analysis program goes towards meeting Anti-Doping Organization’s compliance requirements under the ISTI and provides a cost saving at the same time, as the cost for the transfer and storage of samples is covered by the IOC.”

The further analysis of samples collected during Beijing 2008 and London 2012 has so far produced more than 130 Anti-Doping Rule Violations, which clearly highlights the effectiveness of such a program to provide more effective detection while also acting as a deterrence.

The ITA has established a highly secured Centralized Long-Term Storage Facility (CLTSF) which is now operational and ready to receive samples. International Federations and National Anti-Doping Organizations are encouraged to store samples collected during the time leading up to Tokyo 2020 and any subsequent Olympic event to the CLTSF at no cost, with the support of the ITA, which will coordinate the shipment, referencing and storage of the samples.