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Some 5,400 athletes to be tested for doping ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics in China

Lists of athletes were compiled based on the data from international sports federations as well as national anti-doping agencies

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. The International Testing Authority (ITA) has launched its anti-doping test procedures ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China and is planning to collect doping tests of some 5,400 athletes, the press office of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) announced in a statement on Wednesday.

Lists of athletes, who are obliged to undergo doping tests, were compiled based on the data from international sports federations as well as national anti-doping agencies, which are part of the Olympics Expert Group.

The list of athletes selected for doping tests at the previous Winter Olympics, held in South Korea’s PyeongChang in 2018, contained some 3,500 names.

According to earlier reports, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) received ITA’s recommendations on September 30 to launch doping-test procedures in regard to national athletes, who are viewed as potential candidates for the national Olympic team at the 2022 Games in Beijing.

Earlier this week, the ITA said in its statement that: "As the planning of the on-site anti-doping program for the Winter Olympics is underway, the ITA is embarking on the implementation of an advanced pre-Games testing strategy ahead of the event."

"In collaboration with specialists from International Olympic Winter Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) that form the Beijing 2022 Pre-Games Expert Group, the ITA has performed a systematic risk assessment on potentially participating athletes from all sports," the statement from the ITA’s press office stated.

"The over 5'400 testing recommendations resulting from this risk assessment have been shared for implementation with all International Federations and NADOs/RADOs that are responsible for testing athletes that might participate in the Winter Games," according to the ITA. "The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 were also accompanied by a dedicated pre-Games anti-doping program, at that time 3’500 recommendations were issued five months ahead of the event."

2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing are scheduled to be held between February 4 and 20.

During the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was selected as the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022).

Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics in a tight race over Kazakhstan’s Almaty in 2015, eventually securing 44 votes against 40 in support of the largest city in Kazakhstan.

Russian athletes at 2018 Winter Olympics

In late 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over doping abuse allegations, but allowed clean Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang under the Olympic flag and in the neutral status of an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).

Russian athletes finished in the 13th place of the overall medals standings at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang having won two gold, six silver and nine bronze medals.

At the recently completed 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan’s Tokyo, Russian athletes competed under the flag and logo of the Russian National Olympic Committee (ROC) instead of the Russian national flag and state emblem.

Additionally, the national anthem of Russia was under sanctions at the Olympics in Japan and so ROC athletes received their gold medals to the tune of the First Piano Concerto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.