IOC To Have Independent Drug Testing Authority At 2018 Winter Games
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be "the first Games to have an independent drugs testing authority (ITA) in place to deal with doping among competitors," the IOC said on Sunday, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The IOC has been working toward setting up the ITA as "an independent testing body to take over testing" for the IOC and int'l federations. IOC Medical & Scientific Dir Richard Budgett said, "We will assist it but (testing) in PyeongChang will be under the authority of the ITA. It will be there in PyeongChang, even if in a preliminary form." Until the 2016 Games, the IOC was responsible for doping tests during the Olympics. The IOC is "desperate to boost the fight against doping," with Russian track and field athletes banned from last year's Rio Olympics due to a "widespread state-backed doping system that involved many sports in the country." Budgett said that the IOC would be "financially supporting the ITA for the first few years" but was confident the new organization "would be able to operate independently after that" by charging int'l federations for their services (REUTERS, 7/9).