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More than 6,000 Athletes Already Tested for Drugs Ahead of Winter Olympics

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Photo: IOC/CHUNG SUNG-JUN

More than 14,000 doping tests on over 6,000 athletes from 61 countries – with tests recorded in the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System – have been undertaken to safeguard the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, according to an IOC announcement. With extra scrutiny on Russian athletes, November and December saw testing on double the number of athletes from Russia than any other country.

“The tests, conducted between April 2017 and early January 2018 by the National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (IFs), represent a 70 percent increase on the number of tests for winter sports athletes from exactly the same period in 2016, and reflect a collective effort to optimize the protection of clean athletes ahead of PyeongChang 2018,” says an IOC press release, with Dr. Richard Budgett, IOC Medical and Scientific Director, stating: “Protecting clean athletes by fighting doping is a top priority for the IOC. The sporting integrity of the Games is vital, and we are committed to working with our partners to ensure that PyeongChang 2018 provides a level playing field for all clean athletes. The number, reach and specific targeting of our pre-testing program highlights the importance of intelligent and intensive testing through a coordinated effort with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), IFs and NADOs, as well as our commitment for a cleaner future in sport.”

Along with increased volume, the IOC has also committed to an improved intelligent testing system. This more targeted testing, according to the IOC announcement, “focuses on specific disciplines and nationalities that are at particular risk, as well as individual athletes and groups of athletes selected based on their ranking, and any suspicious change in performance or adverse testing history. Altogether, it is the most rigorous pre-testing program in Olympic history.”

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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