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Global anti-doping body recommends COVID vaccines for athletes

24 February 2021 12:50
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Global anti-doping body recommends COVID vaccines for athletes

GENEVA. KAZINFORM - The World Anti-Doping Agency, which has played down fears that COVID-19 vaccines could contain prohibited substances, told athletes Tuesday that getting inoculated is «highly recommended,» Kyodo reports.

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Reassuring athletes worried that the vaccines could trigger positive drug tests at the Tokyo Games this summer, it called on them to get shots «for your own health, for the health of those around you and for the population at large.»

«COVID-19 vaccines are not known to contain any substance or method on the prohibited list or to interfere with anti-doping analysis,» WADA said in a question-and-answer document for athletes related to anti-doping and COVID-19.

It added that it will continue to monitor all available information and to advise athletes in case its opinion changes.

The statement came after the anti-doping body said in December that while it was too early to make definitive statements concerning the composition of vaccines, there was no reason to believe they would contravene anti-doping rules.

The International Olympic Committee, which governs the games, said athletes will not be forced to take the vaccine but should do so as a «demonstration of solidarity.»

British newspaper The Telegraph reported last month the IOC is working with the World Health Organization to get every Olympic athlete vaccinated in a bid to save the Tokyo Games.

Athletes are now facing several important considerations, including the impact of exercise on the efficacy of vaccines, the potential side effects and advice regarding the timing of vaccination.

«Any vaccination can create a temporary physiological reaction accompanied with symptoms (e.g. fever, pain at the injection site) but there is no evidence that the vaccines approved to date would create any sustained performance decrease,» WADA said.

«It should be noted that, there is some evidence that COVID-19 may cause prolonged or lingering health issues in a small percentage of those infected, including in young adults.»

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