The world’s top anti-doping body said Thursday it is hoping to give athletes “comfort” that they will be in an environment of fair competition at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, with hundreds of additional tests planned during the competition that officially opens Friday. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said 17,000 tests have been done since last April, with 2,500 urine and blood samples to be tested over the 17-day event, reports Yonhap news agency. “I hope we’ll give athletes comfort that they’re in fair and honest competition,” said WADA chief Craig Reedie. “Every effort has been made to provide a proper playing field for the athletes.”
Reedie pointed out the WADA is “50 percent underfunded in terms of what everyone wants us to do”. He said WADA’s annual budget is $30 million, and he’s seeking a 50 percent increase over the next several years. He said half of the budget comes from governments around the world, and the International Olympic Committee matches their contribution. “After the last 18 months, there is an increased belief in governments that they should face up to their obligations,” Reedie said.