With the aim to safeguard the integrity of golf and protect its athletes, the IGF has decided to delegate its entire anti-doping program to the ITA as of the beginning of 2022. A four-year contract between the two organisations marks the start of the partnership. As of January this year, the ITA has begun managing the entire in- and out-of-competition testing activities on the basis of a custom risk assessment for golf athletes and resulting test distribution planning. The administration of the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and athlete whereabouts now also fall under the responsibility of the ITA, as well as the management of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).
Results management of potential anti-doping rule violations and whereabouts failures will also henceforth be handled by the ITA on behalf of the IGF. Through this partnership, the IGF will provide its golfers, national member federations and stakeholders access to ITA’s confidential reporting platform REVEAL allowing anyone involved in the sport to report anonymously or confidently any suspicion of doping or anti-doping rule violation. The ITA will manage any intelligence or investigation resulting thereof. The ITA will furthermore develop and implement a long-term sample storage and re-analysis strategy for the federation.
The partnership also aims to strengthen doping prevention for IGF athletes and support personnel through the creation and realisation of an educational plan by ITA experts in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) International Standard for Education. The ITA will deliver event-based education activities for the IGF and will be present on-site at the 2022 World Amateur Team Championships in France.
ITA’s Regulatory Compliance Unit will finally ensure that all elements of the IGF anti-doping program are fully in line with the World Anti-Doping Code and its connected standards and support its new partner with all the support and consultation needed to address any kind of audit and potential corrective actions.
ITA Director General, Benjamin Cohen said: “We warmly welcome the IGF as the latest international federation to trust the ITA with the management of its anti-doping activities. Golf continues to grow as a sport that is played worldwide by both genders at every level. Following its reinstatement as an Olympic Sport at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the ITA already oversaw the golf competitions during the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. We now look forward to doing so all year round at all IGF-sanctioned events and to working hand-in hand with the international golf family to uphold its values of fair play and sportsmanship”.
“The IGF is extremely pleased to enter into this cooperation partnership with the International Testing Agency to cover all aspects of our anti-doping program on a full-time basis,” said IGF Executive Director Antony Scanlon. “Most recently, the ITA conducted testing, on behalf of the IOC, for both the men’s and women’s golf competitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games and we were impressed by the staff’s professionalism. Utilizing the ITA’s comprehensive services and expertise throughout the year further reinforces our strong commitment to protecting the integrity of our sport and athletes.”