With less than four years to go until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan urgently needs to train more anti-doping officials, a report has warned.
According to the investigation by the Japan Sports Agency, the country’s single World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory employs only 15 anti-doping officials, handling just 7,000 samples a year and taking up to 10 days to analyse each sample.
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During the short period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, there will be the need to handle at least 6,500 samples, each of which must be analysed and returned within a 24 hours period. According to Kyodo News, this operation will require at least 200 anti-doping officers working round the clock.
The report, which also suggested new laws to improve communication and the sharing of information between the Japanese Anti-Doping Agency and customs and immigration authorities, will be discussed by an All-Party Parliamentary Group in the country’s parliament in the near future.
Anti-doping procedures at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are likely to be under high scrutiny after criticism of testing at the recent Rio de Janeiro games, with a WADA report expressing “surprise” at the lack of out-of-competition testing and the limited testing for EPO in sports such as cycling.