Lon­don Marathon at cen­tre of fresh dop­ing claims

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Seven Lon­don Marathon win­ners in 12 years have recorded blood level re­sults which sug­gested they may have been dop­ing, the Sun­day Times news­pa­per re­ported in the latest set of al­le­ga­tions to have rocked ath­let­ics.

It re­ported that 32 win­ners of ma­jor city marathons -Lon­don, Bos­ton, Chicago, New York, Ber­lin and Tokyo -should have faced in­ves­ti­ga­tion over po­ten­tial blood dop­ing fol­low­ing test re­sults -- a quar­ter of the over­all to­tal. The news­pa­per did not pro­vide dates for when its sta­tis­tics al­legedly ap­ply or iden­tify the ath­letes in­volved.

Lon­don Marathon chief ex­ec­u­tive Nick Bi­tel said in a state­ment Sun­day that or­gan­is­ers were "very con­cerned" by the al­le­ga­tions and said the race had a "zero tol­er­ance pol­icy" on dop­ing. "We be­lieve there are peo­ple in our sport who are cheat­ing and ev­ery­one has a part to play to pro­tect those who are not," he said. "We con­tinue to be at the fore­front of anti-dop­ing mea­sures for marathon run­ners as we are de­ter­mined to make marathon run­ning a safe haven from dop­ing but we can­not do it all on our own and rely heav­ily on the IAAF."

In a sep­a­rate de­vel­op­ment Bri­tain s Mo Farah -- who won Olympic gold medals in 2012 for the 5,000m and 10,000m -is one of eight ath­letes who have agreed to re­lease their own blood test data, the news­pa­per re­ported. His coach Al­berto Salazar has faced dop­ing al­le­ga­tions but both he and Farah deny any wrong­do­ing.

"The de­ci­sion to re­lease my re­sults is a per­sonal one -- I ve al­ways said that I m happy to do what it takes to prove that I m a clean ath­lete," he was quoted as say­ing.

Last week s pub­li­ca­tion by the Sun­day Times and Ger­man broad­caster ARD of ev­i­dence of hun­dreds of al­legedly sus­pi­cious blood tests has drawn a ro­bust re­sponse from of­fi­cials.

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