Anti-doping agency to deploy independent observers at Rio Games

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it will deploy Independent Observers at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August and September.

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In a media release, the agency said it would have Independent Observer (IO) Missions to monitor the various phases of doping control and results management processes at both Games.

Expert teams – led by Jonathan Taylor and Marlene Klein for the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively – will observe the programmes.

They will provide real-time feedback to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the local organisers who would be conducting the anti-doping programmes, WADA said.

“This audit-style approach will ensure immediate progress can be made, and will provide athletes and the public further confidence in the anti-doping system.

“WADA’s Athlete Outreach Programme will have an active, accessible and visible presence at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Anti-doping experts will staff Outreach Centres at the Athlete Villages,” the agency added in the media release.

“These centres will allow athletes and their support personnel to understand more about the dangers and consequences of doping, and create awareness of an athlete’s rights and responsibilities.’’

WADA’s announcement comes hot on the heels of increasing cases of reports of doping among athletes globally and across all fields of competition in track and field events.

Since the IOC instituted drug testing for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, hundreds of athletes have been stripped of medals after testing positive for banned substances.(ANA/NAN)

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