THE INTERNATIONAL TESTING AGENCY (ITA) IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ITS NEW HEALTH & CLINICAL EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP, WHICH WILL PLAY A ROLE IN ADVANCING THE ITA’S MISSION OF UPHOLDING THE INTEGRITY OF INTERNATIONAL SPORT THROUGH THE DELIVERY OF ROBUST ANTI-DOPING PROGRAMS, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME PROTECTING AND SAFEGUARDING ATHLETE HEALTH THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF CLEAN SPORT.

The purpose of the ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group is to specifically advise the ITA on issues related to drugs, pharmacology, clinical medicine, nutrition, health, safeguarding and well-being, in the context of the operational implementation of the global anti-doping programs that the ITA leads for its partners. The group is composed of a panel of experts from various fields spanning sports medicine, clinical pharmacology, sports pharmacy, sports nutrition and sports science.

The inaugural meeting of the group covered various topics including the development of a safeguarding framework in the context of anti-doping programs, educational messages to athletes relating to the use of Chinese traditional medicines and sports drinks, and examined the challenges posed by unintentional ingestion of prohibited substances through food and other sources.

The newly appointed Chairperson for the group, Prof. Dr. Margo Mountjoy said “It is a delight to collaborate with the distinguished and diverse group of global experts to advance athlete health and well-being in the anti-doping arena in partnership with the ITA. The efforts of the ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group will ensure that health remains a central focus across all aspects of ITA’s activities.”

The group will play a vital ongoing role advising on clinical issues related to the ITA’s management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions, supporting ITA’s education initiatives to ensure athlete health through clean sport, and reduction and avoidance of harms to athletes through doping. Additionally, they will advise on safeguarding and mental well-being initiatives for athletes in the context of sample collection and doping control, and will provide insights on emerging health threats related to doping.

“This initiative emphasises our strong commitment to athlete health protection by ensuring the integrity of sport is maintained. The guidance from the expert group will be essential in addressing the complex health issues that arise in the frontline delivery of anti-doping programs, including our efforts to educate and promote health through clean sport,” expressed Benjamin Cohen, ITA Director General. “We extend our gratitude to the members of the group for their dedication to clean sport and their profound commitment to safeguarding athlete health by contributing their expertise to the ITA.”

The ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group will continue to meet regularly, providing ongoing support and recommendations to ensure the ITA’s anti-doping efforts result in positive health outcomes for athletes as a result of competing clean and staying free from doping.

COMPOSITION OF THE ITA HEALTH & CLINICAL EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP:

Prof. Dr. Margo Mountjoy  – CHAIR (Canada)

Ms. Ashley Anderson (USA)

Prof. Thierry Buclin (Switzerland)

Dr. Richard Budgett (Switzerland/United Kingdom)

Dr. Kate Jordan (United Arab Emirates/United Kindom)

Prof. Enette Larson-Meyer (USA)

Dr. Carole Okoth (Kenya)

Dr. Christian Schneider (Germany)

Dr. Trudy Thomas (United Kingdom)

Dr. Xin Xu (China)