Wada president on coronavirus: “global emergency”

Wada president on coronavirus: "global emergency"

The world anti-doping agency wants to protect clean athletes as best it can despite the coronavirus pandemic. For this reason, the wada has adapted its guidelines to the exceptional situation, the agency announced.

"Wada will continue to work with anti-doping organizations to provide guidance and support to ensure that the integrity of the anti-doping system is maintained as far as possible," said wada president witold banka. "It will be crucial that the system can regain its full capacity as soon as possible once the restrictions are lifted."

The sports world is confronted with an unprecedented situation. "Covid-19 has forced all the players in the fight against doping, including the wada, to adjust the way the daily work is carried out," said the pole. "But this issue goes far beyond the fight against doping and sport – it is a global emergency – and our first priority must be public health, safety and social responsibility."

Two-time ironman world champion patrick lange, for example, is concerned about clean sport. "I would be interested to know how the doping controls will continue? The borders will be closed, we will be socially isolated. I am also afraid that the door is now open to black sheep," said the 33-year-old from hesse in an interview with the "frankfurter rundschau". This was a sport-specific problem, but he wanted to address it: because the controllers could not travel either.

In austria, where the native of bad wildung has lived for some time (salzburg), there are also restrictions: "the doping control program has been significantly scaled down and focuses on high doping risks or corresponding suspicious situations."Long feared: "there could be athletes who could take advantage of this situation with fraud. I recently imagined, while cycling, that the whole of competitive sport would be without controls."

According to wada, the updated guidelines cover a number of areas that may be affected by covid-19. This includes the provision of information on the accessibility of athletes for controls, the collection of samples and their transport to the laboratories, the analysis or the results management.

However, the wada still intends to address specific concerns raised by athletes and will take a position on them next week, the statement said. The strict measures taken by most countries against the spread of the coronavirus have also had an impact on the anti-doping system. Border closures, mandatory quarantines or isolations, flight cancellations, restrictions on social movements, office closures and cancellation of sporting events have hampered the work of those involved in the fight against doping.

Therefore, according to wada, doping tests will be continued only where it is appropriate and possible, he said.

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