IOC says Rio anti-doping program a success despite problems

Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:57am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Rio Olympics anti-doping program was successful despite a lack of trained staff and resources, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday following a World Anti Doping Agency report noting "serious failings" in the process.

Doping was at top of the agenda well before the first South American Olympics in August after dozens of Russian athletes were banned following revelations of a state-supported doping system in the country.

The IOC said the overall program had been successful, despite the lack of trained staff and inadequate testing outlined in the WADA international observers (IO) report.

"The anti-doping program in Rio de Janeiro had to overcome some challenges too, such as a lack of resources and trained volunteers/staff," the IOC said in a statement.

"This was managed successfully thanks to the dedication and expertise of Rio 2016 and international staff and volunteers."

The 55-page WADA report by its IO team had said on Thursday several athletes earmarked for testing "simply could not be found" while there was "little or no in-competition blood testing in many high-risk sports" at the Games.

Many of the problems stemmed from staffing issues, resource constraints and other logistical difficulties, and there was also 'an apparent breakdown in the transfer of knowledge from previous Games'," WADA said.

"Ultimately, many athletes targeted for testing in the Athletes Village simply could not be found and the mission had to be aborted," the IOs said. "On some days, up to 50 percent of planned target tests were aborted."   Continued...

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach walks past Yoshiro Mori (L), head of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics organising committee as he delivers his keynote address at World Forum on Sport and Culture in Tokyo, Japan, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai