British officials are set to take temporary charge of drug testing in Russia while a new system is created.
Russia’s anti-doping agency Rusada has been plagued by accusations that it covered up instances of athletes taking banned substances. As a result of these allegations, the agency was suspended in November and a new reformed system is still in the process of being set up.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has announced that the UK Anti-Doping Agency will work with Rusada to make sure drug testing in Russia meets international standards. The organisation said the officials from the UK would make sure “targeted and intelligence-led testing is carried out on Russian athletes.”
And an independent body overseen by Wada will manage test results to ensure they are all above board in the future. The testing programme aims to ensure athletes are not taking any drugs or other substances which are not allowed in competitive sports.
Russia has already been banned from taking part in international track and field events due to the doping allegations. And even if the restrictions are lifted before this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro then Russian athletes will have to be tested a minimum of three times before they are allowed to compete.
Suspected bogus Wada officials arrested
Meanwhile, three men in Kenya have been arrested on suspicion of pretending to be Wada officials.
The men allegedly posed as members of the organisation and made it clear that they were open to bribes in exchange for fixing the results of drugs tests.
Reports claim the men were arrested after allegedly trying to convince an athlete to give them the equivalent of £4,800 in return for not recording a positive doping test. The athlete alerted the police after discussing the matter with his coach.
Ben Nichols, from Wada, stressed that Wada was not a testing agency and did not carry out its own drugs tests.
He said: “Wada does not condone behaviour that breaches world anti-doping rules, including the apparent action of individuals masquerading as doping control officers in Kenya. Athletes concerned that their anti-doping rights are being breached in any way should contact their responsible anti-doping organisation.”
While drug testing in the world of sport has been hitting the headlines, other industries have been introducing their own checks to ensure their employees are not taking illegal substances. Workplace drug testing allows companies to monitor drug use amongst staff in a bid to raise productivity, reduce absences and limit the risk of accidents and safety breaches.
Drug testing can be used in any sector but is particularly popular in the oil and gas, transport, construction, manufacturing, aviation and maritime industries.