Record number of anti-doping tests expected during World Championships
Lausanne, 16 October 2017: With just over 50 days remaining to the 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim (USA), Dr Patrick Schamasch of the IWF’s independent Anti-Doping Commission outlined the outstanding preparations that aim to ensure clean competition.
The IWF is completely committed to protecting clean athletes and through its Anti-Doping Commission and Clean Sport Commission has already begun implementing anti-doping measures to ensure a level playing field at the upcoming World Championships. More anti-doping testing is expected to take place at this year’s World Championships than at any previous edition. The latest featured 584 athletes and 288 tests were carried out representing 49% of the athletes participating at the event. This will be accompanied by widespread outreach and educational programmes, organised in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and USADA, which aim to increase awareness and understanding and support cultural change.
“Working autonomously, we have made very thorough preparations for the world championships,” said Dr Schamasch. “For example, we had meetings a month ago in Colorado Springs with both the organising committee and the US Anti-Doping Agency. The IWF Anti-Doping Commission is now ready to ensure a full range of in and out of competition tests for both urine and blood.”
“Our close collaboration with USADA has allowed us to have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the anti-doping programme for Anaheim,” continued Dr Schamasch “In addition to looking at important elements like the sample collection facilities, the doping control officers and chaperones, the IWF Anti-Doping Commission has worked very carefully on the test distribution plan. We even will have on site IWF experts available who know the athletes well, who know their performances and physiques, and who can assist on-site with the targeting of in and out-of-competition tests.”
Athletes expected to take part in the World Championships are already being tested by the IWF, for example during ongoing regional qualifying competitions in South America. Overall testing plans are created by the IWF’s Anti-Doping Commission prior to the start of each year and then constantly revised according to athlete performances and ongoing intelligence gathering.
Dr Schamasch, who served the IOC for 15 years leaving it as Medical Director, described the quantity and quality of the IWF’s anti-doping work as putting it into the lead group of International Federations (IFs): “It’s always possible to do more and we will. But the level and the kind of testing carried out by the IWF, I would say, certainly puts it among the top three or four IFs.”