Olympics: Toughest-ever anti-doping tests will be rolled out in Winter Olympics: Bach

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (bottom centre) takes a group photo with members of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) after a news conference in Seoul, on Nov 21,
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (bottom centre) takes a group photo with members of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) after a news conference in Seoul, on Nov 21, 2013. The upcoming Winter Games in the Russian city of Sochi will see the "toughest-ever" anti-doping procedures, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said today, despite scepticism over the host country's testing capability. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - The upcoming Winter Games in the Russian city of Sochi will see the "toughest-ever" anti-doping procedures, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said today, despite scepticism over the host country's testing capability.

Bach, elected head of the IOC in September, said the number of pre-competition tests at Sochi next year would increase 57 per cent compared to the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"We can clearly say that, both as regards to quantity as well as quality, this will be the toughest anti-doping programme we have ever had in the Olympic Games," he told journalists during a visit to South Korea.

"The tests will be even more target-oriented... there will be more tests pre-competition... where most of the anti-doping violations are happening," he added.

However, the global anti-doping agency this month provisionally suspended the accreditation of Moscow's sports drug-testing laboratory because of questions over the quality of its procedures.

Russia's sports minister has promised necessary measures would be taken at the lab which has until Dec 1 to improve the reliability of its results.