The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has released its 2020 anti-doping summary data, which includes 935 Anti-Doping Rule Violations.
This represents a decrease relative to the 2019 figure of 1,914. It should be noted that with very few sporting events being held due the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of samples collected in 2020 was significantly reduced, which in turn impacted the total number of ADRVs recorded.
- Tests in 2019: 278,047
- Tests in 2020: 149,758
- Tests in 2021: 241,430
In 2019, .97% of samples collected resulted in adverse findings. In 2020, that number dropped to .67%, and even lower among Olympic sports.
Most Violations by Nation (athletes only):
- Russia – 135
- India – 59
- US – 57
- Italy – 47
- Ukraine – 39
- China – 25
- Brazil/France – 23
- Kazakhstan – 22
- Romania – 21
Most Violations by Sport:
- Athletics – 107
- Cycling – 94
- Weightlifting – 89
- Powerlifting – 83
- Bodybuilding – 77
- Mixed Martial Arts – 74
- Football (Soccer) – 67
- Wrestling – 44
- Aquatics – 26
- Boxing – 25
Within the sub-category of aquatics, the breakdown was as follows:
- Diving – 1 (428 samples/0.23%)
- Swimming Long Distance (800m+) – 1 (925 samples/0.11%)
- Swimming Middle Distance (200-400m) – 6 (3,189 samples/0.19%)
- Swimming Sprint (100m or less) – 14 (3,107 samples/0.45%)
- Water Polo – 3 (1,141 samples/0.26%)
- Para-Swimming – 3 (706 samples/0.42%)
There were no ADRVs associated with synchronized swimming in 2020.
The WADA Director General Olivier Niggli painted a rosy picture of the results, though given the challenges of the pandemic, it’s difficult to draw any broader conclusions.
“Testing is an integral tool in the protection of clean sport. Understandably, there were decreases in testing worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the percentage of samples confirmed as ADRVs remained stable compared to 2019. This annual Anti-Doping Rule Violations Report gives us a good insight into the outcomes of the testing programs conducted by Anti-Doping Organizations worldwide, particularly when read in combination with WADA’s 2020 Testing Figures report that was published in December 2021.
“The 2020 Anti-Doping Rule Violations report notably highlights the successes of WADA’s Intelligence & Investigations (I&I) Department and similar teams within some Anti-Doping Organizations. This was largely due to WADA’s confidential source platform ‘Speak Up!’ and those whistleblowers who had the courage to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing.
“Anti-doping is not all about testing. Along with WADA I&I, the continued development of a comprehensive values-based education program, the Athlete Biological Passport and advancements made in scientific research and data analysis will continue to play vital roles in the protection of clean sport.”