Montreal, 20 February 2020
[International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs)]
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wishes to update you regarding the 3 February announcement of the China Anti-Doping Agency’s (CHINADA’s) temporary suspension of their testing program on mainland China due to the new coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.
WADA has been closely monitoring the situation and is in regular contact with CHINADA to maintain the integrity of the anti-doping program in China. To that end, we are pleased to inform you that CHINADA has advised that it will resume testing missions within China this week, on a phased basis. Priority will be given to testing elite level athletes from higher-risk categories and sports.
The safety of athletes and sample collection personnel involved in the doping control process within China is a key priority. This needs to be balanced with the importance of ensuring that Chinese athletes remain subject to a rigorous testing program for the duration of the coronavirus situation.
While sample collection will resume this week, CHINADA has implemented a supplementary set of doping control guidelines to be followed during this period. These additional guidelines for CHINADA Doping Control Officers (DCOs) are designed as a precaution, to minimize the risk of infection. CHINADA will gradually expand the testing scope based on the progress of China's epidemic prevention and control while also monitoring the whereabouts of Chinese athletes to maintain the integrity of the doping control system.
The enhanced DCO guidelines include the following:
- DCOs selected to conduct missions shall be those that have no travel records, no contact with people from affected areas or suspect areas.
- DCOs are required to monitor their health for 14 days and undertake medical screening from a hospital prior to being appointed to missions.
- Each sports training centre will prepare a sterile room to be used for doping control.
- DCOs shall wear a medical protective mask and gloves throughout the whole procedure and change for each athlete tested.
- Athletes and their representatives are also required to wear medical protective equipment.
- CHINADA has set up a ‘Doping Control and Epidemic-Prevention Experts Panel’, consisting of anti-doping experts and anti-epidemic specialists in clinical medicine. DCOs have been trained in anti-epidemic procedures and shall report to this panel after each testing mission.
CHINADA will shortly make contact with those Anti-Doping Organizations that have the right to collect samples from Chinese athletes in China and, under this strict protocol, is willing to accept missions from those organizations, in addition to those organized by CHINADA under its own program, at the sports training centers where testing will begin.
While testing on mainland China was temporarily suspended, it should be noted that CHINADA had continued to plan and conduct testing on Chinese athletes training and competing outside of China. In January 2020, CHINADA conducted more than 1,200 tests, including 114 urine samples and 80 blood samples from Chinese athletes training abroad. A further 165 urine samples and 113 blood samples are planned to be collected in February across seven countries and nine Olympic sports.
To supplement CHINADA’s testing outside China, WADA calls on all IFs to further support this effort by considering testing Chinese athletes that are competing in your international events. In addition, we strongly encourage those IFs that have Chinese athletes in your Registered Testing Pools to monitor their whereabouts closely to ensure that if there are opportunities to test those athletes outside of China, such testing opportunities are seriously considered. For testing on athletes located inside China, please contact CHINADA.
To supplement CHINADA’s testing outside of China, WADA calls on all NADOs to further support this effort by offering your assistance to conduct testing on Chinese athletes that may be training in your country. This can be done by contacting CHINADA or through your own initiative. As a reminder, under the World Anti-Doping Code, your NADO is permitted to test foreign athletes that are training in your country.
WADA thanks you for your collaborative effort and support during this difficult situation and commits to updating you as the situation progresses further.
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World Anti-Doping Agency