The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo involve one of the largest anti-doping programs of any international major sports events outside of the Olympic Winter Games. In Sapporo (JPN), the program includes both pre-competition and post-competition controls, as well as prior to the event, an out-of-competition testing program.
A full-field pre-competition blood testing of all Cross-Country and Nordic Combined competitors included approximately 450 tests. For all events in the three Nordic disciplines, the number of athletes subject to post-competition doping controls includes the top 4 plus 2 at random, as per FIS Rules. In total, approximately 108 post-competition controls will be carried out during the championships.
In total, FIS’s investment in the 2006/07 anti-doping program amounts to more than 1 million Swiss Francs. In addition to testing, various preventive measures are also part of the FIS anti-doping program such as educational and informational programs. A central element to the FIS testing program is specific target testing. Based on long-term, structured efforts, FIS is increasingly in a position to conduct such targeted testing. “In our experience, recording high numbers of conducted tests does not necessarily translate into more success in finding athletes who are doping.
By contrast, effective testing is a question of using intelligent information to conduct testing at the right time and place,” comments Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General. Recent experience by other anti-doping organizations supports this view as WADA’s out-of-competition testing program has resulted in an increased number of adverse analytical findings as a consequence of more focused testing.