WADA issues dope testing guidelines amid coronavirus pandemic
Montreal, Mar 21: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued new guidelines to facilitate continued testing amid the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic.
Noting that the spread of COVID-19 had evolved into “an even greater health and societal emergency” since its March 6 communique, WADA urged Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) to act in accordance with restrictions placed by local health authorities “to ensure proper protection of athletes and doping control personnel, while protecting the integrity of doping control programs, particularly in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
WADA’s latest guidelines advise anti-doping organizations to make sure that sample collectors are free from any symptoms of illness.
Collectors should also ask athletes if they have any symptoms or if they or anyone at the collection site are in the groups thought to be at heightened risk from COVID-19.
If test collection personnel are found to have contracted the virus, athletes they tested should be informed and vice versa, WADA said on Friday.
Protective wear such as masks should be used and work surfaces disinfected, and if local conditions limit what testing can occur then ADOs should “consider focusing their testing program on targeted athletes from high risk sports and disciplines,” WADA said.