On the back of a record targeted pre-Games anti-doping testing programme, doping control was intensified during the Olympic Winter Games to strengthen the integrity of sport and provide a level playing field for all clean athletes.
The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), in collaboration with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), oversaw the doping controls and results management during the Olympic Winter Games, on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to ensure an independent overview of the anti-doping programme.
In total, 3,149 anti-doping tests were conducted during PyeongChang 2018, making it the most robust anti-doping programme in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Of these tests, 1,393 were in competition, and 1,756 were out of competition.
Of the 2,963 accredited athletes, 1,615 were tested at least once, representing 54 per cent, with the majority being tested out of competition.
Of the 3,149 samples collected between 1 and 25 February 2018, and as registered in the Anti-Doping Administration Management System (ADAMS), 2,261 were urine samples; 594 were blood samples; and 294 were blood passports.
In the lead-up to the Games, the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Committee, appointed by the GAISF, reviewed and formally recognised 24 TUEs granted by National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) and International Federations (IFs). During the Games, the TUE Committee granted 12 TUEs.
Following the recommendations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the local organisers used the same sample kits that were used for Rio 2016, developed by Swiss manufacturer Berlinger.
The anti-doping programme in PyeongChang included smarter and more targeted testing, continuing the work of the pre-Games testing taskforce, which had shifted to an improved and intelligent testing system. The transition between the pre-Games testing and the doping controls during the Olympic Games was made easy by the presence in PyeongChang of GAISF’s Doping Free Sport Unit (DFSU), the secretariat of the pre-Games taskforce and soon to be the operational nucleus of the International Testing Agency (ITA).
The anti-doping bodies’ awareness of the manipulation of the anti-doping procedure at Sochi 2014 led to measures to prevent such a situation repeating itself in the Seoul laboratory.
“For the first time at the Winter Games, we made use of video surveillance, with the Seoul lab being monitored by 24/7 video surveillance,” explained IOC Medical and Scientific Director Dr Richard Budgett. “The footage is being kept for 10 years after the Games. Many international experts were also part of the team, including international doping control experts and World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory experts.”
He added: “The Games are a fantastic opportunity to upskill and increase the number of people who can work for the national anti-doping organisation in the future. It can really give a big boost to the development of the national anti-doping agency, and we hope to have achieved this in Seoul.”
The reanalysis programme will, like the pre-Games testing, focus on “high-risk” sports and teams. The samples from PyeongChang 2018 will be kept for 10 years and may be tested retroactively as new detection technologies become available.
For more information: https://www.olympic.org/fight-against-doping/olympic-games