World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Observer Team has made 16 recommendations to the International Paralympic Committee ©Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has been recommended by World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Independent Observer (IO) Team to develop a specific pre-Games testing programme for future Paralympics.

The IO Team comprising of WADA staff and other anti-doping specialists have made the recommendation in its report of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.

During the Games, the IO Team said it visited venues on a daily basis to observe how elements of the anti-doping programme were being implemented.

The five-strong team, led by Azerbaijan National Anti-Doping Agency chair Shafag Huseynli, would then meet to review their reports and identify any issues or potential improvements points.

Key observations included test disruption planning and implementation, recruitment and training of sample collection personnel, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) procedures and results management processes.

Transport and chain of custody of samples, sample analysis at the laboratory and athlete selection, notification and sample collection procedures were other areas that were observed by the IO team.

A total of 16 recommendations have been outlined by the IO team in its 42-page report.

Among those includes a suggestion for the IPC to develop a "specific pre-Games testing programme" for future Paralympics and events.

The IO Team said the IPC should communicate with relevant National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADO) in order to provide specific recommendations as well as to share intelligence and information in a bid to ensure that an "appropriate level" of out-of-competition (OOC) testing has been carried out leading up to the Games.

The IPC has been urged to create a pre-Games testing programme to ensure an
The IPC has been urged to create a pre-Games testing programme to ensure an "appropriate level" of out-of-competition testing has been conducted ©Getty Images

"Such testing is preferably conducted jointly in collaboration with the NADO to avoid repeated tests and to ensure that high risk athletes are tested effectively prior to their participation at major events," the report read.

"Where possible, such an OOC testing program shall ensure that high risk athletes have been sufficiently tested within six months prior to the Games."

The IO Team has also recommended that the IPC considers putting in place a "pre-Games taskforce" 12 months before the start of the Games and establishes a policy for intelligence gathering.

Other recommendations include ensuring National Paralympic Committees inform their team of TUE requirements, improvements to the IPC website on anti-doping and making the e-learning course mandatory for athletes for future Games.

Huseynli led the IO Team that included Italy's Ilaria Baudo, senior manager of testing for WADA, Britain's Mike Earl, Sameh Elray of Egypt and El Salvador's Adriana Escobar.

"The IO Team would like to thank the International Paralympic Committee and other key partners who contributed to the success of the anti-doping program of the Games, which was planned and delivered effectively and efficiently," said Huseynli.

"Of course, this would not have been possible without the dedication of the staff, sample collection personnel and volunteers who ensured that athletes were well supported during the Games despite the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic."

The full report of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics by WADA's IO Team can be read here.