11 March 2019

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have joined forces to reinforce doping prevention at EOC sports event.

The two organisations have teamed up to put in place a series of key activities for doping-free sport, including scientific research, education, and development of anti-doping capacities, as well as the monitoring of Medical and Anti-Doping Rules.

As for Baku 2015, for the Minsk 2019 European Games these activities include a WADA Independent Observation programme the primary goal of which is to support the EOC in implementing an effective anti-doping programme in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards. An IO Team will be on the ground in Minsk to observe and provide guidance on all aspects of doping control, including the development and implementation of general anti-doping policies and procedures, test distribution planning (TDP) and selection of competitors for sample collection.  The IO Team will provide the EOC with an evaluation report after the event.

Again, as in Baku, WADA will run an Outreach Programme, their social awareness campaign that aims to familiarize audiences with clean sport messages, this time jointly with a team from Belarus. The programme consists of a series of activities aimed at creating a positive first experience with anti-doping, aimed at raising awareness at EOC events. The various activities include the WADA Play True Quiz, an interactive computer game with 10 questions available in 39 languages that test knowledge of anti-doping.

Another, and this time new, interesting initiative is a novel Study on the Prevalence of Doping Behaviour that WADA is piloting and will first conduct at the 2nd European Games in Minsk. WADA has established a working group that, through a questionnaire, will collect data from the athletes in Minsk to examine the prevalence of doping behaviour in Europe. The study will be conducted in a non-intrusive fashion, with athletes voluntarily completing the questionnaire in an anonymous and confidential way. No specific nations or sports will be targeted. The Agency encourages all participating athletes to join in the survey.

The EOC has also updated a new set of Medical and Anti-Doping Rules, drawn up by the EOC Medical & Anti-Doping Commission chaired by Prof Dr Klaus Steinbach (GER). The new regulations, approved by WADA, will now be the same for all EOC sports events. In particular, at the European Youth Olympic Festivals (EYOFs) not only urine tests but also blood tests will now be carried out, just like at the European Games.