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Games doping tests: quality over quantity

July 27, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The head of the Commonwealth Games said Sunday the event is using a “quality over quantity” drug-testing approach targeting specific sports based largely on intelligence received from anti-doping agencies.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper told The Associated Press that a full range of drug testing — urine, blood and EPO detection — will be conducted by anti-doping officials during the games which end Aug. 3.

Medal winners, usually tested for doping at multi-sports games such as the Olympics, would not necessarily be tested in Glasgow, Hooper said.

He estimated about 1,500 random doping tests will be conducted in total. About two-thirds of them will be conducted during the competition, with the rest completed before the games began on July 23.

“There is a shift away from quantity testing,” Hooper said. “It’s about smarter testing, more intelligence-based, and all the agencies like WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) and UKAD (the British agency) working together. It’s really a collaborative approach.”

Hooper said the games were using an “anywhere, anytime” testing regime, which has already resulted in one Welsh athlete being banned from the Commonwealth Games for doping.

European 400-meter hurdles champion Rhys Williams was ruled out of the games on Friday after becoming the second Welsh athlete suspended for a doping offense this month.

Williams, co-captain of the Welsh track and field team, was suspended from all competitions after being charged with an anti-doping violation at the Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11. He finished sixth in the 400 hurdles at the Diamond League meet.

Details of the violation were not disclosed.

His Welsh teammate, Gareth Warburton, who had been due to compete in the 800 meters at the Commonwealth Games, is also going through a U.K. Anti-Doping disciplinary procedure after being charged with anti-doping offenses last week. The governing body gave no details beyond citing the “presence of prohibited substances.”

Warburton, a fourth-place finisher in the 800 at the 2010 games in New Delhi, will also not take part in Glasgow.

The Glasgow games have not had a positive doping offense so far — four days into the competition.

At the last games in New Delhi in 2010, 1,482 doping tests were conducted, Hooper said Sunday. There were four doping offenses in India, three involving Nigerian runners.

Folashade Abugan was stripped of silver medals in the women’s 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay after testing positive for a steroid. Osayomi Oludamola had her gold medal in the 100 meters taken away after testing positive to a banned stimulant and hurdler Samuel Okon, who did not win a medal, also tested positive.

Indian race walker Rani Yadav tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone after finishing sixth in the 20-kilometer event.

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