29 June 2022
The ITA and the WBSC have been collaborating since January 2020 with an increasing degree of delegation to the ITA for independent management of different areas of its anti-doping program over the past two years. Now the WBSC has extended and enforced its commitment to provide an expert-led clean sport framework for its athletes by enhancing the agreement with further protective measures. The ITA will develop and manage the long-term storage of samples for the WBSC, thus allowing them to be re-tested at a later date using enhanced analytical methods or based on new information. Another new part of this partnership extension is the use of ITA’s dedicated intelligence & investigations capacity which will complement existing analytical and non-analytical methods of detecting anti-doping rule violations for the WBSC.
Furthermore, the WBSC will henceforth adhere to REVEAL, the ITA’s doping reporting platform, which will allow for baseball and softball athletes, support personnel, coaches and other stakeholders to share any information on potential rule violations in a safe and confidential or anonymous manner.
The ITA will remain responsible for out-of-competition testing for the WBSC, as well as for risk assessment, test distribution planning, Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) administration, the management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), results management and whereabouts failures. From 2021 and with the coming into force of the International Standard for Education, the ITA also started supporting bat-and-ball athletes with bespoke education activities, such as a dedicated webinar series.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation's Executive Director Michael Schmidt, Victor Isola and Marco Ienna together with ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen and ITA Head of Testing Matteo Vallini.
All clean sport activities on behalf of the WBSC will be carried out by the ITA in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and its International Standards, with ITA’s dedicated Regulatory Compliance Unit ensuring full alignment with all mandatory rules.
“This renewed and extended delegation by our partner WBSC is a real sign of confidence in our work and in the harmonisation of global anti-doping efforts,” says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “We are especially pleased about the new collaboration in the areas of intelligence, investigations and information-gathering through our reporting platform REVEAL. The ITA had the privilege of supporting the clean sport program for baseball and softball players in 2021 throughout the year and during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We are equally committed to protecting their integrity at the highest level for another two years and hopefully the many years to come. The WBSC has a very ambitious plan to grow both baseball and softball worldwide and we are honoured to accompany them on this journey and to play our part by further promoting health, integrity and fairness in the sport. ”
“The WBSC is very proud to continue this partnership with the ITA as it enhances the fight against doping and provides the WBSC and all its members with important tools, like education, intelligence & investigations and long-term storage & analysis,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said. “After the excellent result in the recent ASOIF Good Governance report, the WBSC must maintain its high standards and the partnership with ITA is paramount in this sense and will help us to continue complying with all the expectations not only from WADA, but also from all our athletes, athlete support personnel and all WBSC Members”.