‘Insane’ Tests At London Olympics Queried By Doping Chief

Andy Parkinson, chief executive of UK anti-doping, has labeled the amount of tests carried out at the London Olympics as “insane” after 5,000 tests in three weeks led to just nine positive findings during the London Games of which only three were from athletes tested during their competitions – the other six were out-of-competition tests.

Parkinson is the first Chief Executive of UK Anti-Doping and was appointed to the position in August 2009 and headed up the anti-doping operation at UK Sport as Director of Drug-Free Sport and prior to this held the position of Head of Operations. Andy, before joining UK Sport in 2006, was Medical and Scientific Director at the International Paralympic Committee and was elected as Chair of the Ad hoc European Committee in May 2012 for the World Anti-Doping Agency (CAHAMA), effective from November 2012.

Britain’s anti-doping chief called for Olympic organizers to be allowed to test competing athletes in the months leading up to Games rather than in the three-week period of the event. He added the resources can be better deployed and five thousand is an insane amount of samples in just three weeks of the Games, and six out of the nine positive tests were before the athlete took to the field of play and remarked if you said the London Olympic Games has 5,000 samples but spread over three months that has to be a much better use of resource and a better use of money and most of us would accept if there is doping occurring then it is before the event itself.

The anti-doping chief also remarked that the ongoing review of World Anti-Doping Code could allow major event organizers to extend their jurisdiction for the months in advance of the Games and the challenge you have got is organizing committees who want their programs to be judged as of high quality and the way they do that is numerically and pointed out that Sochi’s anti-doping director announced last week that 2,500 drug tests will be conducted at next year’s Winter Olympics, about 350 more than at the 2010 Games.

Parkinson added that the Lance Armstrong doping scandal was an eye opener and wake-up call for those who relied solely on traditional tests at events and remarked Lance never returned a positive test and we need to be thinking very differently if we are going to catch serial cheats. He went on to add that he was encouraged the IOC president Jacques Rogge has backed quality over quantity in terms of tests, but that organizing committees would have to be carefully watched to ensure they did not use this simply as an excuse to save money. The Britain’s anti-doping chief also described as “astonishing” that a Spanish judge had ordered blood bags seized during the Operation Puerto doping investigation to be destroyed and said rather astonishingly the judge said all the blood bags are to be destroyed – that’s to put it mildly a shame and not the best example of how law enforcement can work with anti-doping authorities. The judge’s decision is still the subject of ongoing legal action by Spanish anti-doping authorities who want the blood analyzed.

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