WADA report points out “serious failings” in Rio 2016 anti-doping work

Photo: Rob/Flickr

Photo: Rob/Flickr


By Play the Game
According to a newly released WADA report on the anti-doping methods used during the Rio Games, the overall anti-doping programme was commendable, but several “failings” occurred.

A new report from WADA highlights several problems in the anti-doping programme during the Rio Games. While the WADA Independent Observer Team Report has positive critique for the IOC and its handling of the anti-doping effort during the Games, it also reports on “serious failings” and has 37 recommendations for the IOC to take with them to the next Olympic Games.

Among the reported “failings” are a “lack of coordination/unified approach” between the management of the anti-doping department as well as budget and operational cutbacks resulting in a cutback in resources for the anti-doping work.

The report also points to a conflict between the Rio 2016 organising team and the Brazilian Anti-Doping Agency that caused a “lack of coordination/unified approach” in the Rio 2016 anti-doping department management. ”Budget and operational cutbacks” resulted in fewer resources for anti-doping and up to half of the planned doping tests had to be dropped because anti-doping personnel were unable to find the concerned athletes, the report says.

The independent team further finds that there was a “lack of adequate training and assessment of doping control personnel’s general venue specific and sport specific knowledge” and a lack of adequate training and arrangements for chaperones.

“The anti-doping program, which was implemented and overseen by the IOC, was able to achieve a number of positive outcomes in the face of very challenging circumstances in Rio,” said Team Chair of the Independent Team, Jonathan Taylor, in a WADA statement

“Despite staffing issues, resource constraints and other logistical difficulties, those tasked with implementation of the program, and in particular the volunteers, deserve immense credit for ensuring that the rights of clean athletes were safeguarded,” said Taylor.  

According to sports editor at the BBC, Dan Roan, this report is a “blow” to the IOC and the anti-doping work.

“..This damning report is another shattering blow to the credibility of anti-doping and the Olympic movement’s integrity, showing how organizational chaos blighted the Games’ drugs-testing programme,” says Roan in an analysis of the situation.

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