Dop­ing claims rock ath­let­ics

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Lord Coe says the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) will re­act ro­bustly to new al­le­ga­tions of dop­ing in the sport.

Data leaked to the Sun­day Times and a Ger­man broad­caster has re­vealed an “ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­tent of cheat­ing” by ath­letes at the world’s big­gest events, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

Lord Coe, cur­rently stand­ing to be­come the next IAAF pres­i­dent, said the world gov­ern­ing body “takes these al­le­ga­tions ex­tremely se­ri­ously” and “will is­sue a ro­bust and de­tailed re­sponse to them”.

The leaked data shows that a third of all medals in en­durance events at Olympics and World Cham­pi­onships be­tween 2001 and 2012 were won by ath­letes who recorded sus­pi­cious tests, ac­cord­ing to in­de­pen­dent ex­perts used in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It was fur­ther al­leged that none of these ath­letes had been stripped of their medals.

Coe, who is the favourite to win the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion against fel­low IAAF vice-pres­i­dent Sergey Bubka on 19 Au­gust, has made in­de­pen­dent test­ing a key part of his man­i­festo.

World Anti-dop­ing Agency (Wada) pres­i­dent Sir Craig Reedie said his or­gan­i­sa­tion was “very dis­turbed by these new al­le­ga­tions... which will, once again, shake the foun­da­tion of clean ath­letes world­wide”.

Bri­tish ath­letes have also re­sponded to the news, along with the Rus­sian sports min­is­ter and Ath­let­ics Kenya –– two coun­tries sin­gled out in the latest al­le­ga­tions.

Bri­tish Olympic hep­tathlon cham­pion Jes­sica En­nis-hill , who lost out on gold at the 2011 World Cham­pi­onships to Rus­sian ath­lete Tatyana Ch­er­nova, who has since served a two-year ban said: “It is never good to hear of new pos­si­ble dop­ing of­fences in my sport, but if we are to stop a few ath­letes think­ing cheat­ing is ac­cept­able, we have to ex­plore all in­for­ma­tion that comes to light, how­ever dam­ag­ing it is for the sport as a whole.

“Like so many other clean ath­letes, I put my faith in the sys­tem op­er­ated by the IAAF and Wada and fo­cus on train­ing.

“I very much hope both or­gan­i­sa­tions can re­spond to the latest al­le­ga­tions quickly so ath­letes and

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