May 10, 2010
Oly broadcaster blocked doping tests -- report
By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency
VANCOUVER -- A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report on the 2010 Winter Olympics said the host broadcaster got in the way of collecting urine and blood samples from athletes.
The independent observer team reported May 6 that Olympic Broadcasting Services personnel "presented the greatest obstacle, often trying to prevent (on occasion successfully) the chaperones and other doping control officials (including the independent observer team) from gaining the necessary access to conduct notification of the athletes on the field of play or to chaperone them through the mixed zone." The report recommended personnel around the field of play be taught to understand the role of doping control officials and their need to access restricted areas.
WADA president David Fahey said Monday from Montreal that it is the responsibility of the event organizer to balance anti-doping measures with the needs of media.
"The world of sport has benefited by virtue of sponsorship that comes through the message that comes through the medium of television, we all want that to be there," Fahey said. "But at the same time we obviously need to see practical outcomes." The panel generally lauded VANOC for its "very effective" anti-doping program, which included a temporary laboratory at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The panel noted minor incidents, such as doping control staff jamming athlete waiting rooms and unlocked equipment storage at the Pacific Coliseum.
A total of 1,742 urine samples and 407 blood samples were taken at the Games.
Russian hockey player Svetlana Terenteva and Slovakian hockey player Lubomir Visnovsky were reprimanded but not suspended after testing positive for banned stimulants contained in cold medicines.
Polish cross-country skier Kornelia Marek tested positive for illegal EPO on March 4 and was disqualified April 29 by the International Olympic Committee.