The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Friday said it will closely monitor anti-doping activity in areas hardest hit by the coronavirus to detect possible testing “gaps” that might require action.
WADA called upon global anti-doping organizations (ADOs) to prioritize health and safety while at the same time protecting the integrity of worldwide doping tests, especially with the Tokyo Olympics approaching in July.
“WADA continues to watch the evolving COVID-19 situation closely with particular regard to how the virus may impact the conduct of anti-doping testing activity worldwide,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli said in a statement.
“To that end, WADA urges all ADOs to follow the advice of local health authorities to ensure proper protection of athletes and doping control personnel while protecting the integrity of doping control programs, particularly in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
WADA said it will “closely monitor testing activity in regions affected by COVID-19 to detect any possible testing ‘gaps’ that may need to be addressed.”
If WADA finds an absence or diminished level of testing on athletes from areas of major coronavirus risk, the group said it will inform the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee and any ADOs with a major event in the next few months so they can adjust testing programs accordingly.