Athletes Banned Until 2020 Can Compete At 2021 Olympics: Brett Clothier

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Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) Head Brett Clothier on Saturday told Reuters that the Postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will allow athletes banned until 2020 to qualify for the Global Games next year as doping is based on the limited time period and not events.

Tokyo Olympic 2020 which was scheduled to be held in July this year, gets Postponed by the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to the deadly virus outbreak, which has killed many lives across the world.

Reportedly, World Anti Doping Test (WADA) has bans designed to prevent athletes from competing during an Olympic cycle.

“The standard penalty under the WADA code for doping is a four-year ban, And that’s been designed that way to tie in with the Olympic cycle. But in this case, of course, it’s an anomaly that the Olympics have moved so some athletes will benefit from that. It’s an unfortunate situation but one that is very clear under the legal framework so the ban is based on time and not tied to particular events,” Clothier said.

He further added, “The restrictions on movement that are happening in many countries are having a severe disruption to testing processes around the world. We do testing for over a 100 countries round the world and there are different restrictions in each country… and those restrictions re changing day-to-day, week-to-week. So our normal testing operations are disrupted. We are still conducting testing where we can but there is a severe disruption, no question.”

The United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) said, “ a new self-administered doping test, where athletes are monitored live by a doping control officer, could help protect clean athletes, as the agency tries to ensure no one gets a “free pass” from reduced testing during the pandemic”.

“One thing that needs to be understood though is testing for us isn’t just a numbers game,” he added. We use intelligence and investigation methodologies to make sure we are testing the right athletes we need to at the right time.

“While our testing activities are reduced at the moment, we are focusing on our priority and high-risk athletes and making sure we can test them as much as possible within the limitations we have.” he concluded.

“We’re hoping that we’ll see change around the anti-doping world… where more organisations invest in intelligence capabilities so that they can address the root causes of doping and the people behind doping rather than just using the tests as a facade or a numbers game.”

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