Magyar Antidopping Csoport




The ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Program enters its final phase over two months before the Summer Olympics are bound to begin. During this time and up until the start of the competitions, the bulk (around 70%) of doping controls on athletes bound to Paris will happen as the qualification procedures continuously reveal participants. The ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Expert Group monitors the implementation of the global testing activities. A special focus is placed on high-risk athletes, of which over 50% have already been tested at least once since January 2024. In addition, the ITA now has the authority to directly test all sports participating in the Games as a complementary measure to close testing gaps.

Currently, still over 42’000 athletes are potential participants in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 with 10’500 to obtain their final ticket to the Olympic Village. The qualification procedures will continue up until the opening of the Games, constituting a challenge for anti-doping organisations that need to strategically test these athletes without being certain which ones will eventually take part in the Olympics. Anticipating these challenges, the ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Expert Group offers strategic support to National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) and International Federations (IFs) worldwide that need to ensure their athletes are subject to a risk-proportionate and intelligence-led anti-doping program ahead of the Olympic Games.

Led by the ITA and consisting of international NADO and IF anti-doping experts, the ITA Expert Group conducted a comprehensive risk assessment based on the testing data available up to that point including an extensive analysis of data from the ITA’s pre-Games activities for Tokyo 2020. These models retrospectively show how the athletes who eventually competed in Tokyo were tested in the lead-up to the event and highlight potential risks and gaps that should be addressed for Paris 2024. In October 2023, the group issued testing recommendations to all relevant anti-doping organisations worldwide and has been monitoring their implementation ever since. As the qualification procedures will continue until shortly before the start of the first competitions in France, over 70% of the pre-Games doping tests take place from April until the end of July.

Within the framework of the ITA’s Paris 2024 Pre-Games Program, a special focus is put on potentially participating high-risk athletes. This risk is determined by several variables, of which the combination of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) to which they belong and their discipline is one of the determining factors. The Expert Group reports some progress in this area given the current timeframe and its recommendation that a minimum of three targeted doping controls be performed on high-risk athletes from the beginning of the year until the Games begin: over 50% of these high-risk athletes have already been tested at least once. 7% have been tested three times and a further 7% have been tested more than three times. As the majority of the tests will take place in the next 70 days, this can be seen as a positive trend in this area. More than two-thirds of these doping tests on high-risk athletes were carried out by NADOs, and around one-third by IFs.

As over 80% of the International Summer Olympic Federations whose disciplines are represented in Paris already delegate their anti-doping programs to the ITA throughout the year, the independent body has been implementing pre-Games testing on their behalf. For example, the ITA is taking due consideration to the current situation regarding Chinese swimmers. While neither the ITA nor its partner World Aquatics have come across any evidence that would suggest that a cover-up or a manipulation of the anti-doping process took place as some media reports suggest, the ITA has nonetheless taken the recent concerns over the matter into account. To ensure the credibility of the Games and reinforce the trust that the athlete community places in the global anti-doping system, the ITA decided, with the full support of World Aquatics, to adapt its testing plans to further reinforce independent and intelligence-led testing activities on all high-risk swimmers worldwide in this sensitive period ahead of the Games. This further reinforcement follows work carried out by the ITA on behalf of World Aquatics to increase these independent and intelligence-led testing activities on high-risk swimmers over the past three years.

In addition, since 18 April 2024, the ITA can directly implement doping controls on athletes from any sport on the program in Paris within the framework of the extended Testing Authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This measure is a complementary tool that helps to ensure that testing gaps are addressed but is not intended to replace the efforts that need to be implemented by NADOs and IFs. The results of the monitoring efforts of the ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Expert Group will also be considered for targeted out-of-competition controls by the ITA from the opening of the Olympic Village and throughout the Games constituting another measure to avoid testing gaps.

The ITA also continues to implement doping controls on Russian and Belarusian athletes potentially participating in the Games as individual neutral athletes (AIN) for the sports it is responsible for using independent doping control officers outside of the country.

“The ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Program is a global effort to ensure that athletes can compete with confidence at the world’s greatest sporting event. The ITA is absolutely determined to ensure that all possible efforts are invested to safeguard fair play at the Olympics. In this crucial phase just over two months away from the start of the competitions in Paris the ITA thanks all anti-doping organisations dedicated to collaborating with us and working for the protection of athletes for their global efforts to ensure a level playing field at the Games. At the same time, we urge everyone involved to remain vigilant up until the end of the pre-Games phase and to use the strategic support offered by the ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Expert Group for adequate and risk-proportionate testing. The ITA will report the progress and outcome of the pre-Games program to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as the global anti-doping regulator.”, says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen.

To further promote the quality and transparency of the ITA Paris 2024 Pre-Games Program, for the first time a Supervisory Panel was appointed by the ITA composed of Athletes’ representatives and members from eight IFs and NADOs to join the initiative in a supervisory and advisory role. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has also been invited to sit on the Supervisory Panel as observer and to monitor compliance aspects of the implementation of the testing recommendations.

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Marta Nawrocka
ITA Communication Senior Manager
+41 78 330 96 46



About the ITA

The International Testing Agency (ITA) is an international organisation constituted as a not-for-profit foundation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Its mission is to manage anti-doping programs, independent from sporting or political powers, for International Federations (IFs), Major Event Organisers (MEOs) and all other anti-doping organisations requesting support.