4th March 2021

From the ashes of the last decade’s major doping scandals is being borne a new and progressive clean sport consensus

Ever since a global anti-doping movement formed with the arrival of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999, clean sport has never truly been able to profess to be the fastest moving or progressive of industries. Perhaps, until recently, that is. 

Because, borne out of the last decade’s major doping issues, from athletics to Russia, and biathlon to weightlifting – which have too often made front page news as well as back – has arrived a new era for anti-doping; at the heart of which has arisen a collection of like-minded, progressive, pioneering anti-doping organisations. As a new-styled manufacturer of doping control equipment, we are proud to be supporting this new integrity-led movement which, collectively, has one overarching mission at heart: restoring athlete trust in clean sport.

Ongoing international sporting scandal is perhaps the catalyst, the common denominator in the change we are now seeing, where new organisations and collaborations amongst more nimble-minded bodies are being established – tasked with going further and faster than ever before to ensure the integrity of sport is maintained. 

From the creation of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which is diligently restoring international athletics’ reputation after Dick Pound’s Report for WADA exposed systematic doping and corruption; to the arrival of the Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU) when the sport was faced with corruption, ill-suited governance and other issues that were highlighted in an External Review Commission’s recent report, an integrity-based movement is fast emerging. 

New Integrity Units aiming to combat doping and other issues in sport are not just confined to anti-doping boundaries, however. Take Australia, which has become the first nation to create its own broader integrity unit, Sport Integrity Australia (SIA), which brings doping, match fixing, corruption and other areas under one roof. Yet, without trust and confidence in the equipment used, groups and organisations within this new movement cannot effectively carry out one of the core integrity tasks: anti-doping sample collection and adjudication.

For our part, InnoVero was born out of the need to right the wrong that doping control equipment could be egregiously tampered with, which has resulted in the introduction of new state-of-the-art equipment that athletes can renew their trust in. 

This new collective of organisations, units, equipment producers even, have established a new path forward focused on solutions that protect the rights of athletes. They are employing new, cutting edge, progressive technologies – the AIU has demonstrated the lengths to which this new breed of integrity-based organisations must go in order to ferret out false information through sophisticated, digitally-led investigative techniques to bring to account corrupt officials, as in the recent Lysenko case. 

From our perspective at InnoVero, our creation of a revolutionary sample collection kit that possesses a transparent locking mechanism with visible and audible components and unprecedented tamper-evident and anti-counterfeit features provides athletes peace of mind that their samples are fully secure. The likes of InnoVero, the AIU, BIU, SIA and others have taken a lateral approach to modernising a stagnant industry in effort to secure that all-important athlete trust. 

Since we pressed ‘go’ a few years ago, we asked ourselves what was needed in sample collection equipment to help restore athlete trust? That’s why we included athletes in our research and development process, right the way through to production. This remains our barometer in everything we do: does it secure athlete trust? Does it make an inconvenient, invasive process more convenient and user-friendly?

The new direction of anti-doping is here, and we’re committed to play our part. The establishment of new integrity units across sports and, now, nations, are an encouraging sign clean sport and athletes rights are front-of-mind for those tasked with protecting it. For a movement that has been stagnant too long, we should welcome that the winds of change are finally blowing. 

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