ITA’s testing strategy relied on an extensive risk assessment that was conducted ahead of the Games and considered a variety of factors, including the physiology of the respective sports, individual factors pertaining to the athletes as well as country risk levels. Combined with the Games-time recommendations of the ITA Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group, performance factors and intelligence based on information received through ITA’s confidential reporting platform REVEAL and exchange with the Japanese authorities, Olympic Summer International Federations and other anti-doping organisations, the vast majority of doping controls implemented in Tokyo by the ITA were targeted.
These Games-time anti-doping operations were preceded by the most extensive pre-Games testing program ever implemented for an edition of the Olympic Games with over 25’000 testing recommendations issued by the abovementioned ITA Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group and a completion rate of over 80%.
To date, the ITA has asserted six anti-doping rule violations based on results from samples it collected in Tokyo. All concerned athletes were provisionally suspended, which resulted in their immediate retrieval from participating in any competitions during the Games. Their cases have been passed on to the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD) and/or their respective federations for final adjudication. The analysis for banned substances or methods on the 6’200 collected samples by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Tokyo has been finalised.
The ITA was present in Japan with a team of 24 anti-doping experts to oversee the implementation of its clean sport program for the Games, which was carried out in close cooperation with the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA). 250 Doping and Blood Control Offers from JADA and National/Regional Anti-Doping Agencies from around the world, 700 Chaperones and numerous other volunteers contributed to the roll-out of these large-scale doping control operations. The ITA wishes to thank all individuals and stakeholders that have contributed to the successful delivery of the Tokyo 2020 doping control program for their support and collaboration.
The ITA introduced several innovations to the Olympic clean sport program for its activities in Tokyo. Next to relying on a paperless administration system for doping controls, the ITA used a self-developed rooming application to locate athletes in the Olympic Village for out-of-competition controls and facilitated communication with the over 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) with ADCOM, its own support platform. The new Dried-Blood-Spot method was used for analysis, and gene doping testing was implemented for the first time at an edition of the Games.
All samples collected in Tokyo will be kept in ITA’s Centralised Long-Term Storage Facility (CLTSF) for up to ten years and will be selected for re-analysis by the ITA at a later point in time if and when technological or scientific developments allow for more advanced analytical methods. As the six months leading up to the event were the most critical in regard to doping, the ITA offered to any interested anti-doping organisation the storage of samples they collected during the pre-Games period for free in the CLTSF through a dedicated IOC-fund. To date, over 40 organisations have adhered to the project.
The ITA Beijing 2022 Pre-Games Expert Group has already begun its work to issue testing recommendations for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 that will be held in February next year.