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2020 Olympics Eyes Blockchain to Combat Doping and Verify Authenticity of Records

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The International Testing Agency (ITA) revealed to CNNMoney, Switzerland that Blockchain could be a potential tool to combat tampering of anti-doping test records of the athletes in the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo. ITA has partnered with Blockchain firm BlockFactory to model a framework for exploring the many ways in which Blockchain could be used to prevent scandals in the sporting industry at a reasonable cost.

What is doping?

Doping refers to the consumption of drugs by athletes in order to enhance their performance.  The International Olympic Committee alongside various sports organisations considers such drugs unethical and has prohibited the usage of the same. Anti-doping agencies conduct doping tests to monitor and control doping to ensure a scandal-free system. This test is strictly specified in the International Standard for Testing and Investigations.

The athlete is required to provide a urine or blood sample. These samples are procured by the doping control officers who ship it to the laboratories to obtain a thorough report of the sample based on the analysis. The athletes have to test negative for the banned substances in accordance with the associated rules.

There is a high risk of people fudging with the samples and reports at these stages.

Benjamin Cohen, Director General of ITA said:

Today all [the] steps happen on the digital world and therefore we are looking at technologies that help us ensure that none of those steps are tampered with through the documents that are being shared and so Blockchain can be one of the answers.

The ITA is focusing on the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE ) which allows the athletes to consume exempted drugs under justified medical conditions. In such cases, the medical records have to be approved by a panel of experts. The sensitive information of such athletes has to be secured to keep their privacy and authenticity intact.

Benjamin said that the agency is ambitious to set up and implement the Blockchain solution in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. If successful, this could pave the way for incorporating Blockchain in the future Olympics as well as the entire sports industry.

Talking about a wider usage in the industry, Cohen pointed out to the usage of Blockchain to secure clean slates in the anti-doping, betting and match-fixing realms to prevent any kind of alteration of documents. However, Benjamin Cohen said that Blockchain cannot be used to fix falsified information provided by corrupt athletes.

It is believed that the 2020 Olympics could be a breakthrough for crypto adoption as Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe eyes 40% of the payments to be cashless by 2025. The cashless options will be implemented in the Olympics 2020 on a huge scale.

Blockchain is also being considered for an elevated tourism experience in Olympics 2020.

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