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27 Mar, 2020 18:11

Coronavirus and doping: WADA chief warns athletes not to use Covid-19 pandemic as opportunity to cheat

Coronavirus and doping: WADA chief warns athletes not to use Covid-19 pandemic as opportunity to cheat

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka has warned that the coronavirus pandemic should not be used as an excuse for violating doping rules, vowing that all cheaters will be caught.

The Polish official underlined that integrity of the world anti-doping system will be maintained despite the coronavirus outbreak which has caused many countries to suspend their testing activities.

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"Anti-doping never sleeps, that is my message to the athletes,” Banka said.

"Inevitably testing program in some countries will be suspended and canceled or limited in others, but we will do our best to maintain the integrity of the anti-doping system.

"If some cheats are thinking this is space for them, I can ensure we will do everything to catch them and eliminate them from the sports environment," he added.

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The WADA chief also noted that due to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games those whose doping bans expire this year will be allowed to compete in the Olympics in 2021.

"A ban is about the length of time, it is not dedicated to concrete sports events and if they happen or not," Banka said.

The 2020 Summer Games were rescheduled to 2021 due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic which has paralyzed global sport.