Some 4,500 doping tests will be carried out in the largest testing programme for an Olympic Games, with ISAF working in partnership with the anti-doping authorities and sailors to ensure the smooth running of the procedures.
Over 2,200 tests across all Olympic sports had already been carried out in the 18 day-period beginning 27 July 2008 until 13 August 2008. Athletes qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games have been tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG) under the authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The tests include pre-competition controls, which have proved to be decisive. Out of the 2,203 tests carried out until 13 August, 1,250 were performed pre-competition: 800 urine and 450 blood tests. ISAF has been assisting the anti-doping process at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre, working with the sailors and the anti-doping authorities to ensure a clear line of communication between the two.
Fiona BARRON, ISAF Vice-President responsible for Anti-Doping, explains more about ISAF's role in the Anti-Doping process, "ISAF are here to help the sailors feel comfortable and answer any questions they have about the Anti-Doping testing and procedures at the Games. This year the new IOC Guidelines mean there are more tests than ever before so it's vital that the sailors and coaches understand why the processes are in place."
"I think everyone understands and accepts why we need anti-doping testing ,even in a sport like sailing which has such a great record in this area. By being there to respond to any queries or questions, ISAF can help ensure the process causes the minimum amount of disruption necessary,"
The IOC had decided to increase the number of tests up from 3,600 in Athens to 4,500 in Beijing. For the sailing events, testing at the Games takes place everyday after racing, with a random sample of sailors selected. The samples are analysed in a period of between 24 and 72 hours only, depending on the kind of test.
The new anti-doping rules applied at the Beijing Games include several new elements:
- an athlete may be notified and tested more than once during the same day
- the fact that athletes who miss a test on two separate occasions during the Games, or on one occasion during the Games plus twice in the 18 months beforehand, will be considered to have committed an anti-doping rule violation
- possession of any substance from the list of prohibited substances will constitute a violation (previously only a selection from the prohibited list applied)
Who does what?
As the ruling body for the Olympic Games, the IOC is delegating the responsibility for implementing doping controls to the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). They are acting under the IOC's authority. The IOC Medical Commission is responsible for overseeing all doping control processes on-site, which are in full compliance with the IOC Anti-Doping Rules, the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Testing (ISO9001:2000). At the Games, ISAF work with the onsite doping authorities to ensure all procedures are correctly followed and to answer an questions or queries from the athletes.
Anti-doping testing in sailing is not just limited to the Games. Every six months a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) of sailors is drawn up by ISAF based on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. Sailors in the RTP are required to supply detailed whereabouts information to WADA and ISAF using their online ADAMS system, so In- and Out-of-Competition Testing can be conducted. ISAF contract out to WADA approved Anti-Doping Norway to carry out the anti-doping testing.
You can find out more about Anti-Doping at the Olympic Games in our 'Behind the Scenes' section here
To learn more on ISAF's Medical activities and overall anti-doping strategy visit the ISAF Medical and Anti-Doping microsite at www.sailing.org/medical