BACK ON THE ROAD TO TOKYO: ITA PRE-GAMES EXPERT GROUP TAKES UP WORK TO CLOSE TESTING GAPS AHEAD OF THE GAMES

The International Testing Agency (ITA) is leading an independent anti-doping program for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This work includes the lead of pre-Games activities to ensure that intelligence-led and effective testing is conducted globally on prospective athletes through a coordinated effort amongst all anti-doping organisations between now and the Games next summer. A group composed of experts from diverse backgrounds, sports and regions has been set up by the ITA to support that work. Together, they will issue up to 25,000 recommendations to anti-doping organisations leading up to Tokyo 2020.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are still more than seven months away, but the anti-doping programme for the world’s next major sporting event is already underway. Next to preparing its on-site activities, the ITA has launched an extensive pre-Games program in the important phase leading up to the event. The organisation leads the ITA Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group, a task force of specialists from International Federations (IFs) – representing both team and individual sports – and National and Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs/RADOs) representing all five world continents. The ITA also serves as the group’s secretariat and organises its meetings and activities.

The ITA Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group is responsible for reviewing available anti-doping information on athletes who are likely to compete in the Games. It performs a risk assessment and shares testing recommendations with other anti-doping organisations (ADOs) to ensure that effective testing is conducted globally through a coordinated effort. The group had already taken up its work a year ago prior to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to the year 2021. In the past six months, it re-calibrated its efforts in order to start issuing recommendations in line with an updated risk assessment and adapted qualification lists. Throughout the entire pre-Games period, the group will issue up to 25,000 recommendations on 33 sports disciplines to ADOs all over the world and also monitor their implementation.

This week, the ITA Pre-Games Expert Group marked the continuity of the Tokyo 2020 anti-doping program by issuing recommendations targeting around 6,000 individual athletes and 124 teams. The launch was accompanied by a webinar explaining the guidelines and necessary follow-up actions to almost 200 members of IFs, NADOs and RADOs worldwide.

During the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the ITA will be handling the anti-doping program on-site from the opening of the Olympic Villages to the end of the competitions. In total, the ITA plans to collect around 6.000 samples before and during the Games. The ITA will also be responsible for the results management and case handling.

COMPOSITION OF THE ITA TOKYO 2020 PRE-GAMES EXPERT GROUP:

 

ITA
Management, secretariat

NADO Experts:
Mr. Daniel Ashworth – UK Anti-Doping (UKAD)
Mr. Steve Northey – Sport Integrity Australia
Dr. Matt Fedoruk – U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
Ms. Keiko Uchitani – Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA)
Mrs. Rym Zerifi – Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Africa Zone I

IF Experts:
Prof. Xavier Bigard – Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)
Ms. Leslie Buchanan – International Triathlon Union (ITU)
Mr. Stuart Miller – International Tennis Federation (ITF)
Dr. Margo Mountjoy – International Swimming Federation (FINA)
Mr. Alexis Weber – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)