16 February 2023
The FIVB has decided to further professionalise and expand its efforts to promote clean sport for volleyball and beach volleyball players. It has delegated its operational anti-doping program to the ITA for independent management from the beginning of 2023. This first contract between the ITA and the Olympic International Federation runs until the end of 2025 with possibility of renewal to further extend the partnership.
As per January 2023, the ITA is conducting the entire testing program for the FIVB, both for in- and out-of-competition doping controls. These intelligence-led controls are based on a bespoke risk assessment that considers all relevant factors for volleyball including the physiological profile of the sport and other specificities.
The administration of the Athlete Biological Passports (ABPs) of volleyball and beach volleyball athletes and the handling of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) will also be managed by the ITA. Applications for TUEs will be handled by the ITA’s International Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (ITUEC), a network of some of the world’s best physicians and pharmacists with expertise in sports medicine, providing a confidential and respectful review of athletes’ medical information.
The ITA will furthermore enhance the anti-doping efforts of the FIVB with a long-term sample storage strategy that enables the storage and re-analysis of selected samples for up to ten years after the collection date.
To provide volleyball and beach volleyball players with the most comprehensive anti-doping program possible, the ITA will lead the collection of intelligence for the FIVB and any investigation resulting thereof. The FIVB has also opted to offer its worldwide community access to ITA’s doping reporting platform REVEAL offering anyone involved in the sport to confidentially share any doping concerns with the ITA.
The ITA will also support the FIVB’s clean sport values and raise awareness about doping among volleyball and beach volleyball players by introducing dedicated online and event-based prevention and education opportunities specifically aimed at FIVB athletes.
All clean sport activities on behalf of the FIVB will be carried out by the ITA in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and its International Standards, as well as the FIVB’s own anti-doping rules, with ITA’s dedicated Regulatory Compliance Unit ensuring full alignment with all mandatory guidelines. The FIVB retains the results management of any potential anti-doping rule violations stemming from the ITA’s anti-doping efforts, whilst the ITA is handling any potential whereabouts failures.
ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen with FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° at the FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland
“I am delighted to welcome the FIVB as our newest partner, who is entrusting us with their clean sport program,” said ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “It is an honour for the ITA to support this major Olympic sport throughout the year and at major events such as the Olympic Games. Volleyball and beach volleyball will be able to benefit from the experience we have gained in overseeing the anti-doping programs of now more than 60 partners, including two-thirds of all Summer Olympic sports. The FIVB can be confident that their clean sport program will be run with the highest standards of quality and integrity. And international volleyball and beach volleyball players can be assured of always being at the core of our work, being treated fairly, equally and respectfully to promote a healthy and level playing field.
“The FIVB welcomes the ITA to the global Volleyball Family, and we can think of no better organisation to entrust with our sport’s global anti-doping testing programme,” said the FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F°. “The FIVB is committed to protecting clean athletes and maintains a zero-tolerance approach to doping. We believe that this partnership with the ITA will further enhance our existing procedures and ensure best practice and the highest standards for our sport.”