The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said athletes should be aware that testing can continue "where appropriate, where possible" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The organisation has responded to athlete queries concerning anti-doping in light of the pandemic by publishing a question and answer document that it developed in consultation with its Athlete Committee.
This follows on from WADA’s COVID-19 guidance that was issued last Friday (March 20) to Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) worldwide.
"In these difficult times, we must all do our part to stay safe, keep others safe and look out for each other," Ben Sandford, chair of the WADA Athlete Committee, said.
"We are athletes, but first of all we are human.
"It is important that we listen to our Government health authorities and do our part to minimise the likelihood of transmission and impact on society.
"The situation clearly goes well beyond anti-doping and sport, and this document is designed to address some specific concerns that athletes may have right now as we navigate the path ahead.
"Athletes should be aware that testing can continue where appropriate, where possible and with the necessary health and hygiene protocols in place.
"It is important to ensure the integrity of the overall system is maintained as much as possible.
"WADA will continue to identify any gaps in the programme and advise relevant ADOs accordingly so that they can adjust their testing programmes going forward."
The question and answer document covers issues such as ongoing testing, minimising the risk of contracting or transmitting coronavirus, filing of whereabouts information, validating Therapeutic Use Exemptions, maintaining the integrity of the anti-doping system, and refusing to comply with testers at this time.
WADA says it will continue to liaise with athletes and ADOs in the interest of publishing updates regarding its response to COVID-19 as the situation evolves.
"WADA and the global anti-doping community are prioritising public health, safety and social responsibility," WADA President Witold Bańka said.
"As we continue to meet the challenges of this pandemic, the health of athletes and all those involved in clean sport will continue to be front-of-mind.
"WADA acknowledges how difficult this situation has been and will continue to be for athletes as they deal with the strict measures that have been put in place around the world, which are disrupting their training programmes and creating uncertainty as to what is in store for their upcoming competitions.
"The anti-doping community has banded together to adjust its daily operations by suspending or reducing some of its programmes, including testing and other activities.
"As difficult as this is for everyone, we must stay strong.
"We will get through this situation and everyone hopes that we can return the global anti-doping system to full power as soon as we emerge."
WADA's COVID-19 guidance includes advice on organisations developing specific guidelines, procedures and training for sample collection personnel, as well as ensuring those collecting samples do not show any symptoms related to coronavirus.
Sample collection personnel should also be instructed to ask athletes upon initial communication whether anyone at the testing location is sick, experiencing symptoms or in the at-risk demographic.