As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve into a health and societal emergency, anti-doping organisations globally have adjusted their programs to meet the ever changing and uncertain situation. The information on this page is intended to answer many of the questions athletes might have about anti-doping in the current environment.
World Anti-Doping Agency
The global regulatory body for anti-doping, WADA, in consultation with its Athletes Committee has produced a series of Q&As addressing athletes concerns regarding anti-doping operations during this crisis.
The following Q&As aim to answers questions about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) has on the anti-doping testing program in Australia.
What is ASADA’s approach to testing athletes who have travelled to a virus-affected area, or have had contact with someone who has contracted the virus?
The health and safety of our staff and athletes is ASADA’s priority at this time and we are following advice from the Department of Health in relation to managing the risks associated with COVID-19.
We are working closely with National Sporting Organisations (NSO), International Federations (IF) and other National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADO) to identify at-risk testing missions. Where we are aware that an athlete is in isolation, or has recently travelled to an identified high-risk area, we will factor this in to our testing plans.
What if I’m an athlete and I need to isolate, or have had contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19?
You should advise your NSO.
If you are on ASADA’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP) or Domestic Testing Pool (DTP), please notify ASADA via email@example.com and include the following information:
- Reason for self-isolation – positive test, awaiting test result, close contact, or returned from overseas.
- Date self-isolation commenced.
If you are subject to whereabouts requirements because you are part of a RTP, ensure you keep your whereabouts up-to-date.
Will ASADA staff be wearing masks?
No. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that masks are only required to be worn by people if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing), or looking after someone who may have COVID-19.
According to the WHO, the most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are too frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least one metre from people who are coughing or sneezing.
What has ASADA done to prepare for further developments?
The situation is changing quickly and ASADA is keeping up-to-date with Government advice and updating our test planning and operations accordingly.
How is ASADA keeping staff and athletes safe from potentially getting the virus while doing testing?
ASADA field staff have clear procedures to follow during testing, for their own safety and athlete’s safety, and the integrity of the testing process.
Staff who show symptoms or who meet any other high risk criteria will not be involved in testing missions. ASADA field staff have clear procedures to follow during testing, these include high levels of hygiene, for their own safety and athletes’ safety, and the integrity of the testing process.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to update our advice to staff and athletes as soon as new information comes to hand.
ASADA encourages all athletes and staff to contact the HealthDirect Hotline on 1800 022 222 if you’re feeling unwell, or would like to check your symptoms.