The International Testing Agency (ITA) is set to manage yet another independent and expert-led anti-doping program for a major event, after completing its missions for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. The International World Games Association (IWGA) has entered a collaboration with the ITA for its next major event, The World Games 2022, to be held in July in Birmingham, Alabama (USA).
The ITA will be responsible for the delivery of the anti-doping program for this event and will collaborate with the Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) for the on-site sample collection operations and connected logistical activities. For this purpose, the ITA will support the BOC in establishing a dedicated anti-doping function and will liaise closely with this function for the implementation of the anti-doping program of The World Games 2022. The ITA will also liaise with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to assess the scope for collaboration opportunities for the anti-doping operations in Birmingham.
In order to create and implement a tailor-made and targeted test distribution plan for the event, the ITA will prepare a comprehensive risk assessment, identifying risks across all participating sports. The ITA will also develop a sample retention strategy for IWGA so that samples collected before and during The World Games can be securely stored and re-analysed at a later moment in time.
Alongside preparing and managing the testing operations compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and the IWGA anti-doping rules, the ITA may also assist the IWGA in the results management of any doping violations that might be discovered through its testing activities. It will also deliver a specific education program for athletes participating in The World Games, aiming at raising their awareness about the doping control process through dedicated clean-sport training workshops.
Additionally, the ITA will provide online and on-site training sessions for the doping control personnel who will be tasked with collecting samples during the event.
“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with The World Games and the Birmingham Organising Committee – this partnership shows that the world’s leading major event organisers see the value of ITA’s expertise and independence in leading high-quality anti-doping programs,” says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “We are already collaborating with over two-thirds of the International Federations that will participate in the event in Birmingham; this brings a very valuable amount of know-how and sports-specific experience to the table for preparing and rolling out the clean-sport activities for The World Games. As always, the protection of clean athletes and their right to participate in fair competitions will be guiding our work for this event, and we are also very pleased to be able to make contact with them through a dedicated education program. We are ready and extremely motivated to contribute to a successful next edition of The World Games that will benefit the entire international sports community.”
“The IWGA relies with confidence on the experience and competence of the ITA and the high standards of its services in this particularly sensitive area in the execution of a major multi-sport event. The IWGA and all our participating member federations are in full compliance with the Anti-Doping Rules established by WADA. We are aware that the fulfilment of these rules is of great importance and is not arguable. Volker Bernardi, who serves as the responsible IWGA Board Member together with Dr Michel Léglise Chair of the IWGA Medical & Anti-Doping Commission have established corresponding guidelines and work closely together with ITA. This cooperation shall ensure that we are well prepared to organise and host together with the City of Birmingham great World Games in 2022,” says IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow.