WADA President says athletes, whose doping bans expire this year, can participate at rescheduled Games
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Bańka has warned athletes against using the coronavirus crisis to cheat the system and stressed the organisation had weapons other than testing in its armoury, APA-Sport reports.
In a promise to athletes concerned over the impact of COVID-19 on anti-doping, Bańka said WADA would return the system to "full power as quickly as possible" after the pandemic.
Testing has been severely restricted in some countries and shut down entirely in those worst hit by the virus, which has so far killed more than 25,000 people and infected at least 552,000 worldwide.
WADA has admitted that actions being taken to combat the spread of the virus may affect "athletes confidence that competitions... will be as clean as possible" and conceded there may be "gaps" in global testing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bańka, who took over as WADA President from Sir Craig Reedie on January 1, warned, however, that testing was not the only method used in its attempt to catch athletes who have doped.
"Anti-doping never sleeps, that is my message to the athletes," Bańka said.
"We have the Athlete Biological Passport, long-term analysis, intelligence and investigations and others, which will be key tools in the coming weeks and months. This is not space for cheats and I can say to the athletes that we will do everything we can to protect clean athletes during this time. Inevitably testing programmes in some countries will be suspended and cancelled or limited in others, but we will do our best to maintain the integrity of the anti-doping system. If some cheats are thinking this is space for them, I can ensure we will do everything to catch them and eliminate them from the sports environment."
Bańka, a former 400 metres relay runner who won relay gold at the 2007 Summer Universiade, also described the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until no later than the summer of 2021 as a "victory for common sense".
The Polish official admitted some athletes could be concerned about competitors whose doping bans expire this year participating at the rescheduled Games.
"A ban is about the length of time, it is not dedicated to concrete sports events and if they happen or not," Bańka added.
"When you finish your punishment, you can compete. We cannot extend the punishment, from a legal point of view. I agree it could be a concern for athletes and we should do everything we can to increase the controls", he noted
WADA has vowed to continue testing where possible and told athletes to continue updating their whereabouts information as normal, unless told otherwise by their respective National Anti-Doping Organisation.
IATA promotes digital ‘Travel Pass’ to restart international travel shut down by pandemic
Some deputies infected with coronavirus, says Azerbaijani Parliament’s speaker
Armenia's coronavirus death toll reaches 2,002
Georgia records 3128 coronavirus cases, 39 deaths over past day
Meeting of Azerbaijani Parliament kicks off
Funeral ceremony for Colonel Babek Semidli being held - PHOTO
Azerbaijani President: “Destroyed Agdam city is a witness of Armenian atrocity”
Red Cross to increase its presence in Karabakh
President Ilham Aliyev: “It was the Republic of Turkey and my brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan who morally and politically supported us during those 44 days”
Azerbaijani President: Many experts note that Azerbaijan has waged a war of XXI century
Elon Musk surpasses Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person
Kazakhstan reports 678 new cases of coronavirus, 126 860 in total
Azerbaijani oil price increases by 3%
Spokesperson: "Missile strike against Saudi Aramco's facility not affecting fuel supplies"
Azerbaijani President presents the Holy Quran brought from Mecca to the Agdam mosque
Faraj Karayev sent an open letter to conductors Vladimir Spivakov and Theodor Currentzis
Fitch withdraws Yerevan's ratings due to incorrect information
Russia to reduce oil and gas export to Europe
Kyrgyzstan reports 481 new Covid-19 cases, 70 366 in total
Gas prices increase on world market
Oil prices continue to increase
Israeli airline El Al announces direct flight route to UAE
UK PM sets out 'tougher' post-lockdown tiers for England
Turkey says no side effects from local COVID-19 vaccine
UN plans to deploy a demining mission in Nagorno-Karabakh in early December
Trump authorizes administration to begin transfer of power to Biden
Boris Johnson: Testing still vital
China will allow experts to probe virus origin, WHO says
Coronavirus restrictions in place in Moscow unpleasant but effective, says mayor
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 542,000 in past day
Coronavirus may cause thromboses, expert says
Turkey reports over 6,700 more COVID-19 patients, 153 deaths
Apple received frequencies to test wireless technology
Azerbaijani grandmaster Teymur Rajabov defeated Levon Aronian
SOCAR: No mass coronavirus infection among oil workers is observed
Treaty on Open Skies to lose viability after US walkout, Kremlin says
Media: Fire erupts at Jeddah station
German FM: "Germany, France, UK to discuss JCPOA"
UN stands ready to work with Russia to assess needs in Karabakh
Turkish Foreign Ministry summons EU, Italian ambassadors, German charge d'affaires
UK reports 15,450 new cases of coronavirus, 206 deaths
Azerbaijani flag hoisted at the former secondary school in Gulabli village of Agdam
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited the liberated city of Agdam
Indonesia to deploy navy force near South China Sea
Russian community of Azerbaijan appeals to President Ilham Aliyev
Russian peacekeeper wounded in Karabakh
Ambassador of Algeria: Time to rebuild destroyed Fuzuli city
Seyran Ohayana was charged with another case
Armenia's Education minister Arayik Harutyunyan dismissed
Azerbaijani President: Let the whole world see how the savage enemy destroyed our villages
Ilham Aliyev: "Enemy will be held accountable for all war crimes" - VIDEO
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited Agdam - VIDEO
The Ministry of Emergency Situations accompanied the aid sent from Russia to Shusha and Khankendi - VIDEO
Armenians target Azerbaijan's residential settlements, civilian population, and civilian facilities - PHOTOSESSION
Azerbaijani MP suggests to establish shelters for beggars
Azerbaijan commemorates Khojaly genocide - PHOTOSESSION
14 years pass since establishment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations: They always come to your aid in any difficult moments - PHOTOSESSION - VIDEO
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva attended opening ceremony of rebuilt Azerbaijan pavilion at Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy in Moscow - UPDATED
Special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan extended until December 28
Prosecutor General’s Office: Most of the videos about insulting actions against the corpses of Armenian servicemen are fake
Major General rank conferred to Kanan Seyidov- ORDER
More than a hundred people have contracted an unknown disease in Senegal