IAAF ac­cused of block­ing re­port

The China Post - - SPORTS -

The world ath­let­ics gov­ern­ing body blocked the pub­li­ca­tion of a re­port that showed as many as a third of the world’s top ath­letes ad­mit­ted us­ing banned per­for­manceen­hanc­ing tech­niques, The Sun­day Times re­ported.

The au­thors of the re­port told the Bri­tish news­pa­per that the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) blocked pub­li­ca­tion of the study, which was car­ried out four years ago.

“The IAAF’s de­lay­ing pub­li­ca­tion for so long with­out good rea­son is a se­ri­ous en­croach­ment on the free­dom of pub­li­ca­tion,” the Univer­sity of Tue­bin­gen in Ger­many, which car­ried out the re­search, said in a state­ment ac­cord­ing to the pa­per.

Re­searchers from the univer­sity were given ac­cess to elite ath­letes at the 2011 world cham­pi­onships in Daegu, South Korea and con­cluded in their re­search that be­tween 29 and 34 per­cent of the 1,800 com­peti­tors at the cham­pi­onships had vi­o­lated anti-dop­ing rules in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

“These find­ings demon­strate that dop­ing is re­mark­ably wide­spread among elite ath­letes, and re­mains largely unchecked de­spite cur­rent bi­o­log­i­cal test­ing pro­grams,” the re­port con­cluded.

The study was funded by the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA), but they gave the IAAF power to veto pub­li­ca­tion in ex­change for ac­cess to the ath­letes at Daegu, WADA con­firmed to The Sun­day Times Fri­day.

In the months af­ter con­duct­ing the study, the re­searchers were told to sign a con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment to pre­vent them speak­ing out about the find­ings but they have now crit­i­cized the IAAF for sup­press­ing the re­port.

“The IAAF is block­ing it. I think they are stake­hold­ers with Wada and they just blocked the whole thing,” lead au­thor Rolf Ul­rich told The Sun­day Times.

Some of the key fig­ures from the re­port were leaked in the United States in 2013 but the IAAF con­tin­ued to pre­vent full pub­li­ca­tion.

In early Au­gust, the news­pa­per pub­lished a sep­a­rate re­port on a leaked data­base of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 ath­letes that re­vealed “ex­tra­or­di­nary” lev­els of dop­ing, and sent shock waves through the sport­ing world.

The IAAF hit back at the al­le­ga­tions de­scrib­ing them as “sen­sa­tion­al­ist and con­fus­ing.”

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