The World Anti-Doping Agency is in discussions on how to use artificial intelligence as a new weapon in the fight against drugs in sport.
Cycling Central

20 Mar 2018 - 9:36 AM  UPDATED 20 Mar 2018 - 9:37 AM

WADA's director general Olivier Niggli has told the i newspaper the organisation believes artificial intelligence can be used to quickly analyse the vast amounts of data collected on athletes and raise red flags to better target testing.

"We're having discussions on artificial intelligence going forward," Niggli said.

"There's a lot of promising things."

The newspaper reports WADA is already conducting research programs on how artificial intelligence could be introduced most effectively and will call for pilot projects in the coming weeks.

"There is a lot of data that is being collected in anti-doping - whether it is through the (athlete biological) passports, through the tests, through the results of the athletes," Niggli said.

"If you manage to create a system that will meaningfully use this data I think you can create some very powerful tools."

It is hoped that developing the right algorithms would help WADA manage its limited financial and human resources to target cheats.

"Only sophisticated algorithms would be able to spot the differences, which would allow the anti-doping organisations to focus on the right individuals," Niggli said.

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