With the novel 2019 coronavirus pandemic causing major restrictions on travel and person-to-person contact across the world, testing for banned substances has had to change form. The United States Anti-Doping Agency, for example, has launched a virtual drug testing program, monitored via video.
But shelter-in-place restrictions are starting to lift in various countries and states, and WADA has issued some general guidelines for ADOs (Anti-doping organizations like USADA) to begin resuming their regular drug testing programs, when it’s safe to do so.
You can read the full guidelines here, but we’ve pulled out some of the key points below:
- ADOs are urged to follow rules from local governments and health authorities when they resume testing. WADA‘s guidelines are less a specific roadmap and more general principles to follow within the recommendations from each ADO’s local authorities.
- As long as competitions remain suspended, WADA recommends focusing on resuming out-of-competition testing first.
- Urine testing should be the first piece to come back in most places, with blood samples only in special cases.
- WADA says organizations should focus on ‘higher risk’ athletes: those in high-risk sports and sports where training is still possible and ongoing.
- Testers should wear proper gloves, face masks and use cleaning/disinfecting products.
- Testing workers should be classified into different risk levels, with testing staffs reduced to the lowest-risk testers to start.