United in anti-doping efforts leading up to Rio 2016

12 February 2016

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) have today revealed details of their Rio 2016 anti-doping programs.

They are the most rigorous anti-doping programs of any Australian Olympic or Paralympic team to date, with targeted testing for the games beginning eight months ago.

ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt said the programs maximise ASADA’s opportunities to detect cheating and protect clean athletes.

“Athletes in different sports could benefit from different substances taken at different times, and the testing schedule for our aspiring Olympians and Paralympians is highly targeted to reflect that.”

“The international spotlight is firmly on doping allegations in sport at the moment, so it is extremely important for Australia to protect our reputation as a nation of fair sport and maintain our strong stance against doping.”

“In the lead up to the Games, it is equally important to ensure that no clean athletes miss out on being selected to compete in Rio because their place was taken by an athlete who doped.”

As well as targeted testing, the anti-doping program also includes online and face-to-face education programs.

“A key part of the education program is ensuring that athletes are aware that they are personally responsible for every substance that enters their body. The programs are as much about prevention as they are about catching any athletes who are doing the wrong thing.”

AOC President John Coates said: “We are hoping for around 450 athletes to qualify to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Rio.”

“We will continue our zero tolerance for those who choose to gain an advantage through doping. There will be no sympathy from us.”

“For the first time all Australian Olympic athletes and athlete support personnel will have contracted under their Team Membership Agreements to comply with the AOC Anti-Doping By-Law by co-operating with and assisting ASADA including by:-
           
            (a) attending an interview to fully and truthfully answer questions;
            (b) giving information; and
            (c) producing documents,

in an investigation being conducted by ASADA, even if to do so might tend to incriminate them or expose them to a penalty, sanction or other disciplinary measure.” 

APC President Glenn Tasker said: “In partnership with ASADA, the APC is committed to ensuring that the team sent to the 2016 Paralympic Games has been exposed to the most rigorous and appropriate anti-doping program ever implemented. There will simply be no excuses for non-compliance.”

The intelligence-led targeted test plans for Rio 2016 consider a range of factors in determining the allocation of tests, including risk level of sports and athletes.

ASADA also plans to store selected samples for future testing, and use information gained through the whereabouts program and broader intelligence activities to focus and realign testing throughout the running of the anti-doping program.