In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has adjusted its anti-doping testing program to ensure it is in line with the latest guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
WADA recently issued updated guidance for Anti-Doping Organisations focused on the resumption of athlete testing, as deconfinement leads to the restart or return to normal of doping control programmes in a number of countries around the world.
Through the changes in testing activities, the IPC wants to ensure that WADA guidelines are implemented without compromising the health and well-being of our Para athletes.
Given the COVID-19 infection risks, new measures are in place to further protect the health of athletes as well as the Sample Collection Personnel.
It should be noted that given the severity and uniqueness of this situation, different Sample Collection Agencies may have different regulations based on the WADA guidelines and local regulations.
The IPC strictly recommend all Sample Collection Personnel to wear gloves and face masks as Personal Protection Equipment, throughout the sample collection process, until further notice.
The IPC will closely monitor the different COVID-19 procedures from Sample Collection Agencies and will review them regularly to ensure that all the measures are enforced in accordance with the WADA guidelines.
For all Para athletes, as per IPC Anti-Doping Code Article 20.5.2., testing can happen at any time or place during the ongoing pandemic and athletes must always be available for testing.
Athletes should also be aware that the IPC Code Article 2.3 regarding sample collection will continue to apply.
In addition, Sample Collection Personnel may request athletes for more information during the sample collection process and athletes should respond with complete transparency.
Athletes listed in the IPC Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are advised to inform the IPC if they or anyone in their close contact have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing any symptoms.
Adhering to these procedures will help the IPC to make any necessary amendments to their testing plans and will ensure that the health of Sample Collection Personnel and fellow athletes is safeguarded.
The IPC will also ensure that all information related to athlete health will be treated with upmost confidentially, as per the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.
Lastly, athletes are urged to continue to refer to WADA’s Annex B – Safety Measures Information Guide.
Please refer to the IPC Code here.
For RTP athletes with any further questions they can contact [email protected] for further guidance.