The IGF said it was impressed by the ITA's professionalism at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

The International Golf Federation (IGF) has delegated its entire anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency (ITA) after entering a cooperation agreement.

The organisations have confirmed a contract until the end of 2025.

"The IGF is extremely pleased to enter into this cooperation partnership with the ITA to cover all aspects of our anti-doping programme on a full-time basis," said Antony Scanlon, IGF executive director.

"Most recently, the ITA conducted testing, on behalf of the International Olympic Committee, for both the men’s and women’s golf competitions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and we were impressed by the staff’s professionalism.

"Utilising the ITA’s comprehensive services and expertise throughout the year further reinforces our strong commitment to protecting the integrity of our sport and athletes."

The partnership began at the start of 2022, with the ITA managing the entire in and out-of-competition testing activities on the basis of a custom risk assessment for golf athletes and resulting test distribution planning.

The ITA are also in control of the administration of the Registered Testing Pool and athlete whereabouts, as well as the management of the Athlete Biological Passport and Therapeutic Use Exemptions.

The organisation will also handle results management of potential anti-doping rule violations and whereabouts failures.

Intelligence and investigations will be managed by the ITA, who will also develop and implement a long-term sample storage and re-analysis strategy for the federation.

ITA director general Benjamin Cohen welcomed the agreement with the IGF ©Getty Images
ITA director general Benjamin Cohen welcomed the agreement with the IGF ©Getty Images

"We warmly welcome the IGF as the latest International Federation to trust the ITA with the management of its anti-doping activities,” said Benjamin Cohen, ITA director general.

"Golf continues to grow as a sport that is played worldwide by both genders at every level.

"Following its reinstatement as an Olympic sport at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the ITA already oversaw the golf competitions during the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"We now look forward to doing so all year round at all IGF-sanctioned events and to working hand-in hand with the international golf family to uphold its values of fair play and sportsmanship."

The ITA and IGF say the partnership will provide golfers, national member federations and stakeholders with access to the confidential reporting platform REVEAL.

The platform allows anyone involved in the sport to report anonymously or confidentially any suspicion of doping or anti-doping rule violation.

An educational plan will also be produced by ITA experts in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard for Education, with the organisation helping to deliver event-based education activities.

The IGF will be present on-site at the 2022 World Amateur Team Championships in France.

An ITA Regulatory Compliance Unit will finally ensure that all elements of the IGF anti-doping programme are fully in line with the World Anti-Doping Code, offering support and consultation to address any kind of audit and potential corrective actions.