World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Witold Banka has warned any athlete who intends to take advantage of the gap in drug-testing created by the coronavirus outbreak, that they will be caught and eliminated.
WADA acknowledged last week that the coronavirus pandemic had created challenges for drug-testers with countries closing borders,…….. cancelling flights, enforcing mandatory quarantines or isolations and the shutdown of the sporting calendar.
For unscrupulous athletes this represents a huge opportunity.
Out of reach of the Anti-Doping Authorities, perhaps in some cases for months, some athletes may feel emboldened to boost their medal chances with the help of performance-enhancing drugs, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year.
If they do Banka insisted they will be caught.
In the absence of testing, WADA will have to rely on other weapons in its anti-doping arsenal including the athlete biological passport, long-term analysis and investigations.
Knowing where athletes are is one thing, getting to them during an epidemic is another huge challenge.