The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have recently announced their plans to use A.I. programs and systems to help flag suspected cheating athletes across all sports. Doping cases in sports seems to keep on increasing, the systematic doping of the Russian athletes, in cycling and especially boxing.
With Artificial intelligence, the WADA would be able to scan through huge amounts of extra data and subsequently raise red flags when it catches suspect patterns in an athlete’s performance and/or testing results. Something that would’ve potentially detected in Lance Armstrong’s rise and rise in performances over the years.
While the A.I. would be able to highlight who might be using performance-enhancing drugs, it would not be considered as evidence. This will put the agency on alert to go through a more rigorous drug-testing program as a result of being flagged.
“There’s a lot of data that is being collected in anti-doping — whether it is through the athlete’s biological passports, through the tests, through the results of the athletes, If you manage to create a system that will meaningfully use this data, I think you can create some very powerful tools.” said WADA Director, Olivier Niggli to iNews
We are yet to learn the specifics on the program as WADA will be testing various pilot programs over the coming years and it will take time to develop a proper system with insights. It is encouraging to see WADA making innovative moves to use technology and tackle this huge problem of doping in sports.