Let’s Talk About Testing (No, Not COVID Testing)

by Emma Edmund 25

January 28th, 2022 Anti-Doping, Industry, News

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released its 2021 global testing numbers on Thursday. WADA said that despite problems presented by COVID-19, the agency has been able to maintain “close to normal” testing around the world.

In 2021, 256 anti-doping organizations collected 274,254 samples, compared to 305,881 samples collected by 253 anti-doping organizations in 2019. In contrast, only 168,256 samples were taken in 2020.

The samples include urine and blood samples.

WADA qualified the discrepancy between the 2021 and 2019 numbers, stating that there were less events in 2021, so there were actually more out-of-competition samples taken in 2021 over 2019, with the difference being primarily in-competition samples.

“The latest testing figures show that the anti-doping community has managed to maintain high levels of testing despite a return of severe restrictions in many parts of the world due to Omicron and other variants of the virus,” said WADA president Witold Bańka in a news release. “This demonstrates great resilience, collaboration and innovation as we continue to protect athletes in the build-up to next month’s Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.”

2021 Testing Figures

Samples taken in competition Samples taken out of competition Total samples
January 4,251 10,127 14,378
February 5,855 11,973 17,828
March 7,786 15,320 23,106
April 7,708 14,709 22,417
May 9,404 17,244 26,648
June 10,416 19,189 29,605
July 8,074 17,451 25,525
August 9,229 13,620 22,849
September 10,847 13,402 24,249
October 11,308 13,230 24,538
November 9,657 14,720 24,377
December 7,968 10,766 18,734
Grand Total 102,503 171,751 274,254

WADA emphasized the ability for anti-doping organizations to use the International Olympic Committee’s long-term storage program, where samples can be stored for up to 10 years after their initial analysis and still retain the same legal impact.

The agency cited long-term analysis of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics samples, which have yielded over 130 violations of the Anti-Doping Rule Rules.

“But it is not all about testing.” Bańka said. “As we look ahead to the Beijing Games, WADA has also encouraged and supported Anti-Doping Organizations worldwide to use all tools at their disposal, including in particular education, intelligence and investigations, and the Athlete Biological Passport, to ensure the best possible anti-doping programs.”

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Caeleb’s left suit string
3 months ago

After watching Icarus, and seeing the heads of doping control agencies and testing centers essentially say that it’s so easy to cheat the system now that it’s practically just for show at this point, I just struggle to have faith in the testing system at all, but one can hope

Crown
3 months ago

Weed should be allowed

Riccardo
3 months ago

Until they start using a bio passport for blood work there will always be people getting away with it.

I also agree with one of the other posters that they are overly concerned with testing for PEDs with minimal performance enhancement instead of investing in more testing for actual steroids (i.e. compounds that change the endocrine system) which as it stands now are harder to test for and easier to get away with.

People can be showing blood work that shows testosterone on the high end of “normal” but in reality be on a pretty significant dose of exogenous testosterone. Without a bio passport we have no idea what their baseline should be and thus can’t really flag it as… Read more »

Mikeh
3 months ago

We need to catch guilty athletes, not athletes who have a few parts per million of some banned substance in their blood, such small amounts as to have no performance effect, acquired through random vitamin or supplement use.

jamesjabc
Reply to  Mikeh
3 months ago

The thing is, very small traces could be indicative that they are using. But it could also be completely innocent. There’s no perfect system.

HJones
Reply to  jamesjabc
3 months ago

With the way anti-doping technology has improved, if you’re caught with even a trace amount of a banned substance in your system, there is a 99.99% chance you put that in your body. Tests rarely lie nowadays. This isn’t 2000 anymore where high vitamin levels can set off positive steroid tests–doping maneuvers have become extremely sophisticated, but so have anti-doping protocols, even if it is a step behind.

There is definitely a lot of work to do, however. I recall this one story of a UFC fighter admitting to USADA testers that he had taken hGH recently, yet during the blood test, they couldn’t find it within his system. Peptides, hGH, EPO, and the like are still VERY hard… Read more »

ooo
3 months ago

Totally OT Any other Firefox user having problem with the comment section ( enormous + and – taking the whole screen etc…) ?

Sqimgod
3 months ago

Shining sun will rise again… King of the 1500!!

TUEs are another way to juice legally
3 months ago

Let’s talk about TUEs (No, not Caeleb Dressel’s 8 TUEs).

Pernille Blume = Sun Yang = Cate Campbell = Caeleb Remel

Bruh

Man you said this last time where you get this info from

Admin
Reply to  Bruh
3 months ago

It is unverified information leaked by the Russian hacking outfit Fancy Bears c. 2016.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Yes but they were right on other mentions . In fact for Simone Biles , it did her a service in that she finally got the power to get off the Ritalin . When non Americans challenged this use of mind drugs , they were told off & called names & that poor Simone needed them.to function . She did not & was simply pharma enslaved.since 9 years old .

TUEs should be transparent . We currently are in a social phase where every body bleats about their personal & medical issues anyhow , so what’s the big deal ?

Joel

Please explain.

CasualSwimmer
Reply to  Joel
3 months ago

I think he’s refering to therapeutic use exemptions, I heard that Dressel had asthma so that might be were it stems from

HJones
Reply to  CasualSwimmer
3 months ago

At the 2013 Winter Juniors, Dressel had an asthma attack and he had to miss an entire session of the meet. I’m pretty sure he has a valid claim to be using an inhaler.

Last edited 3 months ago by HJones
Greg
Reply to  Joel
3 months ago

Athletes will claim they have an injury, and obtain a medical exemption for various performance enhancing substances and recovery aiding substances like corticosteroids, stem cell injections, amphetamines, asthma medications, adhd medications etc. Some of those athletes are Kyle Chalmers, Kaylee mcKeown, Cate Campbell, Kathleen Baker, pernille blume, Yulia efimova, jack conger etc. (I’m sure there are many more, but these are off the top of my head.)

Cortisone injections
Reply to  Greg
3 months ago

Reminds me also of Ariarne Titmus and her cortisone treatment for her shoulder injury and them boom, she was close to breaking 2 WRs at Aussie trials.

SwimDiver
Reply to  Greg
3 months ago

I was interested to read recently that Ariarne Titmus revealed she had Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) orthobiological injections in both the shoulder AND hip for a “shoulder injury” in the lead-up to the Olympics (Swimming World reporting, not Fancy Bears).That would seem highly unorthodox as injections of blood/growth factor spun out in PRP are supposed to go to the injury site in a PRP regimen. Knew that she had a rugby trainer brought in for “extraordinary treatment” late in the game (supposedly for a subscap shoulder tear)–guess that “extraordinary treatment” is all coming a bit more into focus now.

jamesjabc
Reply to  SwimDiver
3 months ago

If it’s a breach of the rules you should tell WADA about it. If it’s not then you should probably stop whining

jamesjabc
Reply to  Greg
3 months ago

You think Chalmers is just “claiming” to have an injury? I guess he had shoulder surgery for funsies

Swimmer45
Reply to  jamesjabc
3 months ago

Chalmers had surgery after previous PRP treatment (PRP often creates internal scar tissue).If ever there were a need for WADA-ITA to use its investigative resources, it’s to take a close look at AUS women’s swim team, especially given the recent AUS independent commission report and its 46 recommendations (but with general info nonetheless all being kept secret by SA despite the Commission recommendation for full disclosure!!) Anti-doping is as much for their protection as for that of other swimmers.

jamesjabc
Reply to  Swimmer45
3 months ago

Aussie women start doing well and suddenly they all need to be investigated by WADA. Pathetic lol

Corn Pop
Reply to  jamesjabc
3 months ago

. Ash Barty just serially wiped the court of Americans . Thru .quarters , semis & finals Ash 36 games 6 sets 3 matches . US 13 games 0 sets 0 matches.

Be Best!

Ulta
Reply to  jamesjabc
3 months ago

Follow the news, get head out of sand. AUS women swimmers themselves called for a full investigation (by other Australians) of the entire AUS swimming culture–supplement use, misogyny, weight-shaming, abusive coaches, eating disorders, militarism, discrimination against female coaches. Result: 46 recommendations disclosed, but refusal for some reason by Kieran Perkins to release full report. Cheating? If Perkins gets his way, we’ll never know I guess.

jamesjabc
Reply to  Ulta
3 months ago

So you’re assuming that the women in Australian swimming are accusing SA of cheating without actually seeing the report? Ok