WADA to continue testing 'where possible' amid coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: WADA President-Elect, Witold Banka attends a news conference after World Anti-Doping Agency's extraordinary Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting that has banned Russian athletes from all major sporting events in the next four years, in Lausanne, Switzerland, December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday that it would continue to test “where possible” while remaining in line with protocols set out by governmental and health organisations amid a coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the global sporting calendar.

“We will get through this situation and everyone hopes that we can return the global anti-doping system to full power as soon as we emerge,” WADA President Witold Bańka said in a written statement.

The coronavirus outbreak upended many upcoming international sporting events, most recently casting doubt on whether the Tokyo Summer Games could advance as scheduled.

Chair of the WADA Athlete Committee Ben Sandford said while the situation “goes well beyond anti-doping and sport,” the organisation would continue to pursue testing to ensure clean sport.

“It is important to ensure the integrity of the overall system is maintained as much as possible,” said Sandford. “WADA will continue to identify any gaps in the program.”

Reporting By Amy Tennery; Editing by Stephen Coates