The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) Report for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and recommended the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) develops a specific pre-Games testing programme for future Paralympics.
WADA’s IO team for the Games was made up of WADA staff and anti-doping experts who visited venues on a daily basis to see how the anti-doping programme was being implemented. The team particularly focused 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 procedures and results management processes.
Shafag Huseynli, Chief Executive Officer of the Azerbaijan National Anti-Doping Agency and Chair of the IO team, said “It was an honour to lead WADA’s Independent Observer (IO) team for the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games. The IO team would like to thank the International Paralympic Committee and other key partners who contributed to the success of the anti-doping program of the Games, which was planned and delivered effectively and efficiently. Of course, this would not have been possible without the dedication of the staff, sample collection personnel and volunteers who ensured that athletes were well supported during the Games despite the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic.”
The Report makes 16 recommendations with one of these being that the IPC develops a specific pre-Games testing programme for future Paralympics. Other recommendations include the IPC creating a “pre-Games taskforce” 12 months before each Games and working with National Anti-Doping Organisations in order to share intelligence so that out-of-competition testing is effectively carried out in the build-up.
You can read the Report here.