PERIOD OF THE GAMES
Testing during the games:
- Anti-doping authority has been delegated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the International Testing Agency (ITA) for the Olympic Games and to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for the Paralympic Games.
- Trained Doping Control Officers from Japan and international National Anti-Doping Organizations will collect samples during the Games. All urine and blood samples are analyzed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Tokyo. Throughout the doping control process, an athlete has the right to an interpreter, as well as a representative.
covid-19 vaccines and testing
With testing in full force, the Tokyo Games fast approaching, and COVID-19 still a concern, here are answers for athletes to common questions about anti-doping rules, vaccines, and COVID-19 protocols.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact USADA’s Athlete Services Team at athleteexpress@USADA.org or call (719) 785-2000. We are here to help you make an informed decision and to navigate these health, safety, and anti-doping matters.
What are the available COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.?
Currently there are three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines available within the United States: the Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer/BioNTECH vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
Are the vaccines available in the U.S. safe to use?
Yes, these three vaccines have been approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy. The CDC has also found these three vaccines to be safe and effective. You can call us or visit the CDC website to learn more about safety measures and protocols behind the development of these vaccines.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine and what is the cost?
Of course, you should make your own personal health decision to receive the vaccine or not.
USADA is encouraging its staff as well as others to receive the vaccine to assist in the goal of maintaining healthy and safe competition. USADA CEO, Travis T. Tygart, has already received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine (as permitted in Colorado) and notes, “While everyone has to make their own choice, for me, having added assurance of the health and safety of me, my family, USADA teammates, and others is a liberating feeling.”
The vaccine can be obtained at no cost.
What can I do to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccine rollout is being done on a state-by-state basis based on defined eligibility criteria. For example, in Colorado, all residents over the age of 16 age are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Please visit the CDC website to determine the roll-out status in your sate and your eligibility. Do not hesitate to contact USADA if we can be of assistance locating a place for you to obtain the vaccine if you choose to do so.
What if I have additional questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine?
You can call or contact USADA and/or you can call the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636), TTY: 888-232-6348, or visit CDC-INFO.
Are any of the COVID-19 vaccines prohibited in or out-of-competition?
The three vaccines approved in the U.S. are not prohibited. They do not contain any prohibited substances and are permitted for use at any time under anti-doping rules.
What side effects could the vaccine have on my performance?
There is no indication that COVID-19 vaccines have a substantial impact on an athlete’s performance. However, any vaccination can potentially create a temporary reaction, including symptoms (e.g., fever, pain at the injection site), but there is no evidence that the three vaccines approved to date would create any long-term performance decline. It is recommended that athletes
Will USADA continue to implement COVID-19 safety measures during sample collection despite city and state restrictions being lifted?
Yes, USADA will continue to follow its established COVID-19 Safety Protocols regardless of reduced city and state restrictions in order to best protect the wellbeing of athletes and collection personnel. We are also encouraging all USADA staff – including DCOs and all sample collection personnel – to receive one of the three U.S. approved vaccines.
What if DCOs are not following USADA COVID-19 Safety Protocols?
You can find all of USADA’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols online or by scanning the QR code of the DCO iPad prior to sample collection. If you are uncomfortable or believe a DCO is not following protocol, we encourage you to share your concerns with the DCO. You may submit feedback to USADA in your sample collection paperwork, or you can contact USADA with any questions or concerns at (719) 785-2000, Toll-Free (866) 601-2632, or e-mail athleteexpress@USADA.org.
What if I don’t want a DCO in my home?
If a DCO arrives at your home and you prefer to be tested elsewhere, please communicate that preference so other accommodations can be arranged. Importantly, refusing to be tested following notification could result in a refusal to test violation and lead to a sanction.
For questions about specific products, substances, and methods, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Line at drugreference@USADA.org or call (719) 785-2000, option 2.
For general questions or questions regarding COVID-10 vaccine information or sites, please contact USADA’s Athlete Services Team at athleteexpress@USADA.org or call (719) 785-2000.
Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
- Olympians can file TUEs with USADA until June 20 (tue@USADA.org), then athletes can either submit to USADA or directly to the International Testing Agency (ITA). If an athlete submits a TUE directly to the ITA, USADA encourages athletes to copy USADA, so that USADA can assist in the process if necessary. Any TUE applications during the period of the Games must be submitted to the ITA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Paralympians may file with USADA until July 20 (tue@USADA.org), then athletes can either submit directly to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) or USADA. If an athlete submits directly to the IPC, USADA encourages athletes to copy USADA to assist in the process if necessary. Any TUE during the period of the Games must be submitted to the IPC (email@example.com).
- Existing TUEs approved by USADA or an International Federation before the period of the Games must be recognized by the ITA for the Olympics and the IPC for the Paralympics to be valid.
- For the Games, all Team USA athletes will need to provide Whereabouts that include:
- Building and room number
- Training locations/schedule in Tokyo
- Detailed accommodation information (if not staying in Village)
- Remember to update your Whereabouts before you go to Tokyo and when/if your schedule changes. The athlete is ultimately responsible.
In tokyo with questions?
Contact your Team Leader
USADA available 24/7 during the Period of the Games at (719) 785-2000
NOTE: Rules are subject to change. Please refer to the IOC and IPC rules for any rule changes.