TOKYO, July 22 (Xinhua) — The International Testing Agency (ITA) hopes the Tokyo Olympic Games start a new era for anti-doping, said ITA director general Benjamin Cohen on Thursday.
It is the first time that the International Olympic Committee delegates all their anti-doping obligations during the Olympic Games to an independent organisation, the ITA.
“The Rio Games was complicated, the ones before in Sochi as well. We all want to turn a page and start a new era for anti-doping. This is why I’m really, really happy and honoured that, for the very first time, the programme will be fully managed by an independent organisation.” Cohen said.
The ITA, who plans to collect approximately 5,000 in- and out-of-competition samples in Tokyo 2020, set up a pre-Games Expert Group issued over 25,000 testing recommendations from athletes that were likely to qualify for the game.
“COVID has impacted our work, there is no reason to hide that. Testing has been more complicated for the anti-doping community over the past year and a half.”
“The World Anti-Doping Agency in 2021 reported testing numbers were higher than before the pandemic in 2019, so that is very encouraging to reassure all the athletes that anti-doping is at full speed despite the pandemic.”
There will be also some new testing measures introduced for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The dry bloodspot and gene doping techniques will make their Games debut. This is a trial in Tokyo and I look forward to these techniques being implemented again in the Beijing 2022 and in the future.” said Cohen.