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Olympics step up anti-doping measures

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By Euronews
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics mascot Soohorang
Copyright  REUTERS

Final preparations are underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where 2018 Winter Olympic Games are set to open on Friday.

Already hard at work, the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the upcoming games will offer the most comprehensive and independent anti-doping measures in Olympic history.

The overhaul comes after evidence of systematic, state-sponsored doping emerged from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The IOC has invited an external body to arbitrate doping-related decisions and has increased testing.

"Well at the Games we do a lot of out-of-competition testing because there is a lot of evidence that that is very effective," says Richard Budgett, the IOC's Medical and Scientific Director. "Every athlete who does well at a Games knows they are going to be tested at the end of competition, but we will be doing over 1,000 tests in competition and over 1,400 tests out-of-competition. And with the blood samples as well there`'s over 2,500 tests altogether".

Ahead of the games, the PyeongChang Cultural Olympiad kicked off on Saturday. The festival includes hundreds of performances and exhibitions to give visitors a taste of authentic Korean culture.