The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Friday said it was “actively exploring alternatives” after Swiss manufacturer Berlinger Special AG said it would stop making secure anti-doping sample collection bottles.
Berlinger earlier on Friday announced that it was pulling out of the business, but pledged to keep sending out collection kits until stocks ran out in a bid to prevent a short-term shortage.
WADA said it had contacted anti-doping agencies, accredited laboratories and sample collection agencies, including the International Olympic Committee, to update them on the situation and offer guidance “to secure the integrity of the doping control process.”
“In parallel, WADA is actively exploring alternative sources of sample collection kits and, to that end, is also collaborating with the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations and a number of anti-doping organizations,” the agency’s statement said.
WADA in January said it had looked into reports from one lab that a new-generation test kit produced by Berlinger could be “susceptible to manual opening without evidence of tampering.”
An older model was used instead at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month.
“WADA wishes to reassure athletes, anti-doping organizations and other stakeholders that it remains resolutely committed to following up with Berlinger and affected stakeholders as necessary until the matter is resolved and that it will keep stakeholders updated along the way,” the agency said.
In the 2014 Sochi Olympics doping scandal detailed in a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, investigators discovered that Russian staff had developed a method to open supposedly “tamper-proof” sample bottles undetected.
The far-reaching scandal saw Russia barred from the Pyeongchang Games, although Russian athletes who met certain criteria were allowed to compete as neutrals.
Berlinger on Friday said that “increasingly institutionalized forms of doping malpractice” had increased the demands made on the test kits.
“These developments are not only damaging to sport — they have become increasingly incompatible with our corporate values and core competencies,” Berlinger chairwoman Andrea Berlinger said in a statement posted on the company’s Web site.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being