POLADA is set to run the anti-doping operation at Kraków-Małopolska 2023 ©European Games 2023

The Polish Anti-Doping Agency (POLADA) is set to carry out the anti-doping operation at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games on behalf of the International Testing Agency (ITA).

As a result, the national anti-doping organisation (NADO) will be responsible for the preparation of control stations, sample collection and transport, recruitment of personnel and providing the necessary equipment.

"For the Polish Anti-Doping Agency, this is the biggest undertaking ever," said POLADA director Michał Rynkowski.

"It is important to realise that collecting 1,200 samples is an annual plan for some national anti-doping agencies.

"The team at the Games will be international and will operate under strict instructions from the ITA.

"This is because the ITA will be responsible for preparing the entire anti-doping programme in Kraków and Małopolska.

"It will be up to its decision who and how the anti-doping controllers will check."

POLADA director Michał Rynkowski says that the 2023 European Games will be the organisation's
POLADA director Michał Rynkowski says that the 2023 European Games will be the organisation's "biggest undertaking ever" ©Getty Images

The anti-doping programme at the Games will see 60 controllers, 33 control stations, 10 nurses, 10 coordinators and 120 volunteers responsible for testing 1,200 samples taken from athletes.

Preparations are already underway in laboratories in the host nation under the stewardship of the ITA.

The organisation signed an agreement with European Games organisers the European Olympic Committees in 2021 that ensured it would oversee anti-doping operations at the event as well as at European Youth Olympic Festivals. 

"The European Games is the next major event for which the International Testing Agency is leading a comprehensive and independent anti-doping programme," said Marta Nawrocka, the ITA's communication senior manager.

"It will be implemented in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code using international best practice approaches and the ITA's experience in managing such large-scale clean sport activities.

"The ITA will closely collaborate with the Polish Anti-Doping Agency for a good implementation of this programme for the benefit of fair play and the protection of participating athletes."