Athletics Integrity Unit and UK Athletics unveil robust Anti-Doping Programme for IAAF World Championships London 2017
31 July 2017
Over 600 blood samples to be collected prior to Championships for Athlete Biological Passport profiling; 600 urine tests for detection purposes to be conducted
UK Athletics’ Clean Athletics Programme to drive Education and Prevention Outreach during the Championships
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and UK Athletics (UKA) today announced their plans for a robust anti-doping programme at the 16th edition of the IAAF World Championships, which takes place from 4 – 13 August 2017 in London, United Kingdom.
At the heart of the AIU’s testing programme will be the collection of over 600 blood samples prior to the Championships for the purpose of continuing to build Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) profiles and to detect prohibited substances, such as human Growth Hormone (hGH). A further 600 urine tests will also be conducted onsite at the London Stadium during the competition in order to detect a wide range of substances including EPO and steroids.
“The Athletics Integrity Unit is pleased to announce a very comprehensive intelligence-based anti-doping programme for the IAAF World Championships,” said Athletics Integrity Unit Chair, David Howman. “What is key to this programme is the significant work that has been done by the Unit and its partners in the ten months leading up to the Championships to ensure that athletes competing in London have been part of a robust testing programme,” he added.
The announcement of the anti-doping programme follows an intelligence-led out-of-competition testing strategy enacted in the 10 months prior to the Championships, with testing targeted at athletes likely to compete in London. This 10-month out-of-competition testing period – which included over 2,000 blood tests and approximately 3,000 urine tests - is a cornerstone of the AIU anti-doping programme with no advance notice of testing given to athletes. The AIU also collaborated with federations and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) to ensure that its own out-of-competition testing would be maximised, and to concentrate on filling the gaps where no effective national testing programs exist.
Capitalising on the 10-year statute of limitations set out in the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the AIU will continue the strategy first initiated by the IAAF at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005, in which all samples collected at the event will be transferred to, and stored in, a dedicated and secure facility for the purpose of re-testing at a later date after the initial analyses. To-date, the re-testing policy established by the IAAF in 2005 has resulted in 27 positive cases.
As part of its strategy to be a forward-thinking organisation that adopts new technological trends, the AIU is also pleased to announce that during the World Championships and beyond, it will replace the traditional paper-based collection of doping control data with a more streamlined, harmonized and "real-time" paperless process supported by established technology. The paperless process will reduce the possibility of human error and increase effectiveness of the doping control process.
Education and Prevention Programme
A joint Education and Prevention Outreach Campaign will be carried out in London for the duration of the Championships under the Clean Athletics programme of the host Federation. The education programme for athletes and support personnel will be organised at the team hotels and competition venue.
To create greater awareness amongst the athlete community of the need to speak out against doping and other forms of misconduct, the AIU in collaboration with the IAAF Athletes’ Commission has created an Athletes’ Pledge in multiple languages that will be signed by competitors at a handful of locations. The WADA Athlete Committee will also be lending support to the campaign by signing the pledge in London. The IAAF Athletes Commission and the AIU will also organise seminars and open sessions for athletes and support personnel, with anti-doping and integrity matters to be two of the focus topics.
“I am delighted that UK Athletics’ Clean Athletics programme will be driving the education and prevention outreach activities during the IAAF World Championships London 2017,” said UK Athletics Chief Executive, Niels de Vos. “Alongside the comprehensive AIU testing programme in place, we know that the anti-doping efforts have been robustly planned, and we are pleased to be playing a significant part in the delivery of this essential work.”
To learn more about the AIU’s programme for the IAAF World Championships London 2017, please find the attached Q&A Document.