The ITA has activated its pre-Games testing phase for Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

The International Testing Agency (ITA) has begun the pre-Games phase of its anti-doping programme for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, issuing more than 5,400 testing recommendations.

This strategy has been created with the assistance of specialists from International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) that form the Beijing 2022 Pre-Games Expert Group.

A systematic risk assessment of athletes expected to compete at Beijing 2022 was applied.

It also took into account potential qualifiers who may not get a spot at the Winter Olympics, and recommendations have now been shared with IFs and national or regional doping bodies.

Before Pyeongchang 2018 - where 2,922 athletes competed - 3,500 testing recommendations were issued five moths before the Winter Olympics.

The intelligence-led and targeted recommendations help to avoid and reduce any testing gaps at a crucial time in the build-up to the Games, the ITA insists.

Beijing 2022 is less than four months away ©Getty Images
Beijing 2022 is less than four months away ©Getty Images

Until the start of the Winter Olympics, the ITA Beijing 2022 Pre-Games Expert Group is to monitor the implementation of these recommended tests.

The group is also considering issuing more recommendations for testing closer to the Games, when more information on participating athletes is available.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20 2022. 

The Paralympics will then follow from March 4 to 13.