The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) Team’s report regarding the anti-doping program at the 2018 Asian Games, held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, between 18 August and 2 September 2018.
As it has done at a number of major events since 2000, WADA sent a team to monitor the anti-doping program that was run by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) with the aim of reinforcing confidence in athletes and the public as to the quality, effectiveness and reliability of the Games’ anti-doping program.
In addition to collaboration with the OCA and providing general support prior to the Games, the team provided real-time feedback to the OCA designed to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the program in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards.
Led by Jeremy Luke from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the seven-person team was composed of international experts in anti-doping, who observed and provided feedback on all aspects of doping control. This included the implementation of general anti-doping policies and procedures; test distribution planning; implementation of the out-of-competition and in-competition testing programs; athlete selection and notification; Therapeutic Use Exemptions procedures; sample collection procedures; the transport of samples and their chain of custody; and the results management process, including hearings that were held during the IO Team’s presence.
IO Team Chair, Jeremy Luke said: “On behalf of the IO Team I would like to commend the OCA for the efforts put in place to protect the rights of clean athletes to compete on a level playing field in Jakarta and Palembang. In its report, the IO Team highlighted a number of areas where progress has been achieved compared to previous Asian Games along with a number of recommendations for the OCA to consider for future editions of the Games. The success of the IO Team’s mission was due in large part to the excellent cooperation and support provided by the OCA and the other groups involved in the delivery of the anti-doping program. We wish to thank them all.”
As is the case following all IO Team missions, the report includes a number of recommendations for the OCA and WADA itself – all designed to enhance anti-doping activities at future Games.