Limited out-of-competition drug testing conducted by IPC in winter sports during 2016

Thursday, 24 August 2017

In total, only 39 out-of-competition urine and 49 blood tests were conducted by the IPC in winter sports and these were purely in biathlon and cross-country skiing.

The statistics do not necessarily mean that not a single out-of-competition test was conducted, however, because it does not take into account for testing done by national governing bodies.

But it reflects a priority towards in-competition testing in non-endurance orientated sports.

In total, only 25 in-competition tests were conducted in Alpine skiing with 18 in ice hockey and 13 in snowboarding. 

Only six tests were carried out in the discipline of Para-dance sport, which is administered by the IPC, despite not being on the Paralympic programme.

In comparison, 17 in-competition and 25 out-of-competition tests were conducted in biathlon and 23 in-competition and 63 out-of-competition in cross-country skiing.

Far higher levels of testing was conducted in summer sports governed by the IPC.

This consisted of 557 in-competition and 558 out-of-competition tests in athletics, 141 in-competition and 66 out-of-competition in swimming and 259 in-competition and 364 out-of-competition in powerlifting.

Figures for sports not administered by the IPC are also included, but the data here relates purely to testing conducted at last year's Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and does not include testing done by the respective International Federation for each sport.

There is no data given for wheelchair curling, the only Winter Paralympic discipline not governed by the IPC.

A table of anti-doping testing conducted by the IPC in 2016 ©IPC

One adverse analytical finding (AAF) was detected in both Alpine skiing and ice hockey in 2016 but neither ultimately resulted in an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).

Six ADRVs were recorded in both athletics and powerlifting, as well as one in cross-country skiing. 

The IPC claimed that they have targeted each sport in specific ways, based on where positive results are most likely to occur. 

"Biathlon did 48 per cent of its total tests out-of-competition and cross-country skiing did 73 per cent," a spokesperson told insidethegames.

"As these are both stamina and endurance sports, these are the two winter sports which our historical data show are the most at risk of athletes doping, compared to Alpine skiing, snowboard or Para ice hockey."

The IPC are also focusing financial resources towards educational anti-doping work rather than just testing.

A reduction in the number of positive tests in powerlifting has been highlighted as an example of success through this approach.

"When Azerbaijan's Maharram Aliyev tested positive for two substances at February's World Cup in Dubai it brought to an end the sport's record run of seven major competitions without an anti-doping violation which stretched back to before the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games," the spokesman added. 

A report on total testing has not yet been published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for 2016.

Details on TUEs awarded by the IPC in 2016 ©IPC

But, in the 2015 report, a total of 75 out-of-competition tests were recorded in what was then called ice sledge hockey, as well as 42 in Alpine skiing and six in snowboarding. 

Russia remains suspended by the IPC following evidence of doping at events including the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

This was found due to evidence given by former Moscow Laboratory director turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, which formed the basis for the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report rather than positive tests.

Data on the allocation of therapeutic use exemptions - in which athletes are allowed to take otherwise banned substances for medical reasons - in 2016 was also included in the annual report.

It can be read in full here.

Insidethegames

 




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