KEEPING BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL REAL: WBSC RENEWS ITA PARTNERSHIP

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the world governing body for the two bat-and-ball disciplines, continues to rely on the clean sport expertise of the International Testing Agency (ITA). A new contract between the two organisations introduces an increased delegation of the WBSC’s anti-doping program to the ITA.

The ITA and the WBSC have been collaborating since January 2020. After this initial one-year term, the world governing body for baseball and softball has decided to extend its collaboration and build on its confidence in ITA’s expert anti-doping programs. The renewed contract includes anti-doping activities that the ITA has already previously managed for the WBSC and introduces a new collaboration for the education of baseball and softball athletes, which will be managed entirely by the ITA to ensure full compliance with the new WADA International Standard for Education which has been enforced since January 2021. The ITA will remain responsible for Out-of-Competition testing, risk assessment, test distribution planning, Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) administration, the management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), results management and whereabouts failures.

The education activities prepared for the WBSC by the ITA will ensure that bat-and-ball athletes (and especially youth) will continue their clean sport education despite the current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With baseball and softball being featured at the Tokyo 2020 Games for the first time since 2008, the ITA will ensure a harmonised and intelligence-led anti-doping program for the WBSC throughout the year and all future Summer Olympics.

“We are very pleased that the WBSC has renewed its partnership with the ITA”, said ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “This is a real sign of confidence in our work and expertise. I wish to commend the WBSC for embracing the Olympic Movement’s decision to delegate anti-doping operations to the ITA, and thus ensuring independence and harmonisation in global anti-doping efforts. We look forward to protecting all baseball and softball players in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.”

“The WBSC is fully committed to safeguarding baseball and softball’s clean athletes and the integrity of the game,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The renewed partnership with a world-leading agency like the ITA reflects this. We have recently created a WBSC Integrity Unit to improve several areas and we are confident that the collaboration with ITA will continue to make an important contribution in this critically important aspect of the sport.”

ABOUT WBSC

Headquartered in Pully, Switzerland — adjacent to Lausanne, the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 211 National Federation and Associate Members in 139 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, the World Baseball Classic and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women’s), and the Softball World Cups, (U-12 Mixed, U-15 Women’s, U-18 Women’s, U-18 Men’s, U-23 Men’s, Women’s and Men’s), and official disciplines Baseball5 (Senior and Youth World Cups) and E-Sports as well as Baseball, Softball and Baseball5 events at the Olympic Games.

For more information, visit www.wbsc.org