The ITA will run its anti-doping programme leading into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©ITA

The International Testing Agency (ITA) is set to run an independent anti-doping programme for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

A group of experts from the ITA will issue up to 25,000 recommendations to anti-doping organisations leading into the Games to ensure effective testing is conducted globally.

ITA will also work with the IOC during the Games too.

This has led to the formation of the ITA Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group, a task force of specialists from International Federations representing both team and individual sports, as well as national and regional anti-doping organisations from five world continents.

The ITA organises the group's meetings and activities.

These experts will be responsible for reviewing anti-doping information on athletes who are likely to compete at the Games.

ITA's detailed plan of anti-doping prior to Tokyo 2020 ©ITA
ITA's detailed plan of anti-doping prior to Tokyo 2020 ©ITA

It performs a risk assessment and shares testing recommendations with other anti-doping organisations.

Prior to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 in March due to COVID-19, the group had already started its work and in the past six months it has re-calibrated its efforts in order to start issuing recommendations based on new qualification lists and updated risk assessments.

There will be up to 25,000 recommendations made from the group in 33 sports.

This week, the ITA Pre-Games Expert Group issues recommendations targeting around 6,000 individual athletes and 124 teams.

The launch was accompanied by a webinar explaining the guidelines and follow-up actions to almost 200 members of International Federations and anti-doping organisations.

The ITA will also be handling the anti-doping programme on-site from the opening of the Olympic Village to the end of competition, with the ITA looking to collect around 6,000 samples before and during the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 2021.