Prior to the Tokyo Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has confirmed that athletes that take Covid vaccination won’t fail any dope test as there are no specific concerns about any constituents in the approved vaccines. Along with the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and the Russian Sputnik V, this clearance applies to the India-made recombinant inactivated-virus vaccines that have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use.
According to a report in the Indian Express, a WADA spokesperson stated that its highly unlikely that an ingredient in the vaccine turns problematic and said, “As it relates to the SARS-Cov-2 vaccines that have so far been approved for human use, WADA has no specific concerns as they relate to the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. Athletes can be confident that WADA will continue to monitor all available information and advise them and other members of the anti-doping community in the extremely unlikely event an ingredient of any approved vaccine might be problematic.”
Currently, India is having vaccination drives across the country, where the vaccines Covidshield (manufactured by Serum Institute of India and developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech) are being used. While frontline workers are getting vaccinated on a priority basis, Tokyo-bound athletes and trainers are set to get vaccinated soon. Earlier this month, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju confirmed that the Indian contingent will be vaccinated before they leave for the Olympics.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that vaccination before participating in Tokyo is not compulsory, but it is highly encouraged. The IOC also has an agreement with Covax, WHO’s vaccine-sharing scheme, which is helping to facilitate the distribution of vaccines.