IAAF launches at­tack on ‘naive’ dop­ing ex­perts

The China Post - - SPORTS -

World ath­let­ics’ rul­ing body the IAAF on Satur­day con­demned as “naive” the two blood ex­perts at the cen­ter of mass dop­ing al­le­ga­tions.

Aus­tralian sci­en­tists Michael Ashen­den and Robin Parisotto have claimed hun­dreds of ath­letes had re­turned “sus­pi­cious” dop­ing tests re­sults.

Their al­le­ga­tion was based on the ex­am­i­na­tion of a leaked data­base pro­vided to them by Bri­tain’s Sun­day Times news­pa­per and Ger­man broad­caster ARD con­tain­ing more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 ath­letes be­tween 2001 and 2012.

This week the IAAF ro­bustly de­nied any neg­li­gence in its test­ing pro­ce­dure in an af­fair that has marred the build-up to this month’s world cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing.

And in their latest de­fense world ath­let­ics’ rulers ac­cused Ashen­den and Parisotto of ar­riv­ing at “se­ri­ously in­cor­rect as­ser­tions.”

“Of most con­cern to us is that the two sci­en­tists con­tinue to de­fend their state­ments that the IAAF did noth­ing to act on “sus­pi­cious pro­files.

“And that the sci­en­tists also con­tinue to be­lieve that they were in a po­si­tion to make this anal­y­sis based on their back­ground and in­volve­ment in a num­ber of Ath­lete Bi­o­log­i­cal Pass­port (ABP) cases re­lated to the sport of ath­let­ics,” the IAAF con­tended.

“Their state­ment does not ad­dress the fact that they had no knowl­edge what­so­ever of the ac­tions taken by the IAAF in fol­low­ing these sus­pi­cious pro­files.”

Ac­cord­ing to the IAAF, Ashen­den and Parisotto “also con­ve­niently ig­nore the fact that more than 60 ath­letes have been sanc­tioned on the ba­sis of ab­nor­mal blood val­ues col­lected af­ter 2009.”

And the or­ga­ni­za­tion added: “The two sci­en­tists were not, and still are not, in a po­si­tion to know which cases have been sent to the in­de­pen­dent panel for re­view, nor to know which cases are cur­rently un­der re­view or un­der ap­peal.

“More im­por­tantly, they do not have ac­cess to the IAAF test­ing records and are there­fore not able to know whether proper test­ing fol­low-up was con­ducted by the IAAF.

“On this ba­sis, how can these ex­perts claim that no ac­tion was taken by the IAAF with­out check­ing which ath­letes were sanc­tioned, and with­out any pos­si­ble ac­cess to the IAAF’s ex­ten­sive out-of-com­pe­ti­tion tar­geted test­ing in­for­ma­tion?”

The IAAF “con­demn the fact that two ex­pe­ri­enced sci­en­tists were naive enough to place them­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where their anal­y­sis of in­com­plete data is be­ing used against ath­letes in the public do­main.”

It called for the two men to sup­ply World Anti- Dop­ing Agency (WADA) with any ev­i­dence they have of dop­ing.

“If they do not have ev­i­dence, then we urge that they re­frain from mak­ing as­ser­tions of wrong-do­ing.”

Satur­day’s latest IAAF in­ter­ven­tion fol­lows Fri­day’s WADA an­nounce­ment of “an ur­gent” probe into sug­ges­tions of wide­spread cheat­ing.

This week IAAF pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Se­bastien Coe, called the al­le­ga­tions “a dec­la­ra­tion of war” on the sport.

Both Rus­sia and Kenya, sin­gled out in the ARD doc­u­men­tary for a par­tic­u­larly poor record, have also ques­tioned the al­le­ga­tions of cheat­ing in ath­let­ics.

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