Anti-doping testing intensified ahead of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The Biathlon Integrity Unit intensified its anti-doping testing programme ahead of next month’s Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games (4 to 20 February), based on a detailed risk assessment followed by targeted testing.

This means that the BIU has been taking into account physical performance data of athletes, together with specific nation risks and other intelligence factors.

Targeted testing was based on this risk assessment, along with constant observation and intelligence gathering.

A test distribution plan was then implemented in collaboration with National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), taking into account their own test distribution plans.

The BIU has been working in close co-operation with the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the run-up to the Games, with all samples taken being held securely in long-term storage for possible re-testing at a later date.

Throughout the disruption caused to sport by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, the BIU has continued its testing programme, with only a small (10-per-cent) reduction in the number of samples taken at the height of the pandemic and consequent lockdowns in 2020.

This is partly attributable to the flexibility and hard work of the BIU’s partners, including NADOs and service providers, which were quick to develop their COVID-related protocols

The total number of samples taken between May 2021 and now is 1,343.

Greg McKenna, head of the BIU said: “The Winter Olympic Games are first and foremost a sporting event, but with such widespread visibility they also provide an important platform for our Biathlon Family to demonstrate the importance of integrity, fair play and safe sport. Cooperating with our partners from the IOC and ITA, the BIU have worked hard to ensure that any risks to fairness or safety are significantly reduced.”

Note to Editors

The Biathlon Integrity Unit is an operationally independent and specialised unit of the International Biathlon Union. It was established in 2019 in order to ensure all of Biathlon’s stakeholders can have confidence that ethical issues in the sport will be addressed independently and expertly.