The EOC has decided to entrust the ITA as an independent partner with the implementation of expert anti-doping programs for its future events. The partnership between the organisations is effective immediately and, therefore, the ITA will manage the anti-doping programs for the upcoming 2023 European Games in Kraków, Poland and European Youth Olympic Festivals (EYOF). This entails establishing the necessary operational functions and protocols for each event, collaborating with National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) or Sample Collection Agencies (SCAs), selecting and cooperating with laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and making sure that the entire doping control process adheres to the necessary quality and security standards in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the anti-doping rules of the EOC.
The ITA will also train the sample collection personnel (both Doping Control Officers and Chaperones) prior to EOC’s events. The doping controls during the events will be based on a comprehensive risk assessment identifying risks across all participating sports of each event, resulting in a tailor-made testing program. The ITA will also develop a sample retention strategy for the EOC, so that samples taken during its events can be stored and re-analysed at a later moment when technology allows for an enhanced testing of the samples for prohibited substances.
The results management will also fall under the responsibility of the ITA, and it will pursue any potential anti-doping rule violation under the jurisdiction of the EOC. Furthermore, the ITA will manage the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) program with the support of the more than 20 medical experts that form the ITA International TUE Committee.
A special focus will be placed on educational and preventive activities for athletes participating in the European Games and EYOF editions. The ITA, in consultation with the EOC, will develop an anti-doping education plan in accordance with WADA’s International Standard for Education and deliver event-based education activities, as well as make sure participating athletes have access to the necessary resources prior to the EOC events.
“It is a great pleasure and honour to announce this partnership with the EOC, one of the most important major events organisers worldwide”, notes ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “I am certain that the EOC can profit from the independence and anti-doping expertise that the ITA offers together with the experience acquired through the management of the Olympic Games’ anti-doping program. We will work hard to make sure that the European Games and European Youth Olympic Festivals are protected by an anti-doping program of the highest quality. We look forward to this partnership and to a strong collaboration with the EOC and all European National Olympic Committees for the delivery of clean European events.”
“Our partnership with the ITA underscores the EOC’s commitment to providing a level playing field for athletes at our events,” says EOC Acting President Niels Nygaard. “The ITA’s experience, knowledge and expertise in the field of anti-doping will be invaluable going forward and we know we are in safe hands. Together we aim to develop an anti-doping education plan that will truly drive home the point to athletes that there is no place for cheating in Olympic sports.”
The next European Games will take place in 2023 in Kraków, Poland. The next Winter European Youth Olympic Festival will take place from 12 to 17 December in Vuokatti, Finland. The next Summer Youth Olympic Festival will take place from 24 to 30 July 2022 in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.
ABOUT THE EOC
The EOC is the umbrella body for Europe’s 50 National Olympic Committees. The EOC is committed to spreading the Olympic values and inspiring sport and healthy lifestyles across Europe. The EOC supports grassroots activities and the delivery of elite sporting events such as the European Games, the European Youth Olympic Festival and the Games of the Small States of Europe.