By Tom Degun
May 21 - Drug testing efforts at the Vancouver Paralympics have been praised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with an increase of 30 per cent in the amount of testing carried out and where the only positive test involved Swedish curler Glenn Ikonen for a blood pressure medication.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Vancouver 2010 earned high-marks in WADA's Independent Observer report for implementing a comprehensive anti-doping programme.
In the 15-page report, the WADA Independent Observers Team revealed that the execution of the anti-doping programme ensured that athletes and athlete support personnel were clear as to their rights and responsibilities relative to the doping control procedures and that those rights were respected throughout the doping control process.
The report said: "The Independent Observer Team wishes to thank the IPC and VANOC for their excellent cooperation throughout the Paralympic Games.
"Meeting the mandate of our mission was facilitated through an open and collaborative process that allowed the collective expertise of the individuals involved in the oversight and management of the anti-doping programme to enhance the operations and procedures.
"The IPC works with limited resources and limited staff and is to be commended for their commitment to running an effective anti-doping programme at the event.
"The fact that there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of tests carried out during the 2010 Paralympic Games [when compared to the 2006 Paralympic Games] is illustrative of the significant increase in resources and expertise that combined to ensure that the rights of clean athletes were protected.
"Further, the anti-doping procedures were conducted at a level of proficiency and consistency not matched in previous Games."
Ikonen was thrown out of the Games after testing positive for a banned beta blocker he claimed he was given by a doctor.
He has now been banned for six months.
March 2010: Swedish curler thrown out of Paralympics after positive drugs test