The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has acknowledged that its anti-doping programme will be “severely disrupted” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The AIU, the independent anti-doping watchdog for track and field set up in 2017, operates testing procedures in more than 100 countries.
“Under the current conditions of the global pandemic, many of these countries have social distancing restrictions or guidelines in place, these differ from country to country and in turn are all changing very rapidly,” it said.
“As a result, there is no doubt that our anti-doping program will be severely disrupted in the short term, however we will still conduct our priority testing missions in those places where it is feasible and safe to do so.”
The AIU added that it was reviewing its testing plans day by day “to ensure we are appropriately balancing considerations of public health and the health of athletes against the need to conduct anti-doping tests“.
In this respect, all 500 or so World Athletics registered testing pool athletes “must continue to fulfil their ‘whereabouts’ obligations“.
Athletics has been hit hard the COVID-19 pandemic, with a raft of events having been postponed or cancelled.