Anti-doping education programmes will be in effect at Nanjing Youth Olympics

Athletes will have to be careful at the Nanjing games

Nanjing (China), Aug 13 (IANS) Education, as well as testing, will play a big part in the anti-doping programme at the second Youth Olympic Games that would be officially opened on Saturday. Anti-doping activities at the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) include World Anti Doping Agency's (WADA) Play True Generation Programme which is delivered during major multi-national, multi-sport events for athletes under the age of 18. It is aimed at educating athletes about their rights and responsibilities with regard to anti-doping.

"Anti-doping activities have been planned during the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing 2014 to educate the young athletes about the dangers of drug use, especially in sports," said Zhao Jian of China, the executive deputy director of the anti-doping team for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC). A computer game - Play True Challenge - was launched at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, and similar activities will be held in Nanjing.

"These athletes are just starting their career in sports and they need to understand that doping is not the answer. Of course, if anyone tests positive, action will be taken," he added.

In-competition testing will be held August 12-28, during which approximately 300 urine tests will be conducted. Blood tests may also be carried out. Athletes will be notified at the village and samples will be taken in accordance with IOC and WADA rules. All samples collected in Nanjing will be sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory in Beijing for analysis.

All International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA rules that apply in the Olympic Games also apply at the Youth Games. "The only difference is that when the athletes are notified, they are allowed to have a coach accompany them because they are under 18 years of age," said Zhao.

NYOGOC has trained 50 doping control officers to carry out the procedures which include notification of athletes, chaperoning and collecting of samples.

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