The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has praised the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for its anti-doping programme at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in a new report published on Tuesday (4 April).
WADA’s Independent Observer Team’s (IO Team’s) Report concerning the anti-doping programme at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games highlighted how the IPC implemented a number of measures that “could serve as an example to other Anti-Doping Organisations and Major Event Organisations”.
In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), WADA is invited by the IPC to send an IO Team to the Paralympic Games. The role of the IO Team is to help instill confidence in both athletes and the public as to the quality, effectiveness, and reliability of the IPC’s anti-doping programme for the Games; to provide feedback and suggest areas of possible “real-time” improvement to the programme; and, to make recommendations within its post-Games Report for potential improvements to the programme for future editions of the Games.
“The anti-doping programme, which was implemented and overseen by the IPC, was able to achieve a number of positive outcomes in the face of challenging circumstances in Rio,” said IO Team Chair, Michael Petrou. “The IPC should be commended for its anti-doping programme at the Games and particularly for implementing a number of good practices that could serve as an example to other Anti-Doping Organisations and Major Event Organisations,” Petrou continued.
Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC’s Scientific and Medical Director, said: “It’s fair to say that in Rio we faced some extremely challenging circumstances which could not be compared to previous Paralympic Games.
“In light of this, the IPC Anti-Doping Committee, IPC Medical Committee and IPC anti-doping team did a tremendous job and I would like to thank them and the WADA IO Team for their work in Rio.
“The IO Team made a number of recommendations to the IPC for future events to further improve the programme. The IPC Anti-Doping Committee will now review these and implement the necessary changes.”
Chelsey Gotell, the Chairperson of the IPC’s Athletes’ Council, said: “From an athlete perspective, we are greatly encouraged by WADA’s report into the anti-doping programme at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“As the report highlights, the IPC implemented a number of areas of best practice during the Games. Such news helps to build confidence amongst the athlete community that the IPC is working hard to protect clean athletes.”
The IO Team monitored all aspects of the anti-doping programme in Rio, including: test distribution planning; the selection of athletes for testing; athlete notification and sample collection procedure; the Therapeutic Use Exemption procedure; chain of custody, and Results Management.
As is the case following all IO Team Missions, the Report includes a number of recommendations covering operational and policy areas that could assist the IPC and future Local Organising Committees to further improve the anti-doping programme at the Paralympic Games and continue to protect clean athletes.
A full copy of the IO Team’s Report can be found here.