IAAF defends itself over fresh doping claims before they're published

IAAF defends itself over fresh doping claims before they're published

The International Association of Athletics Federations has sought to take the sting out of upcoming doping claims by revealing and denying allegations due to be published this weekend.

The world governing body has taken repeated blows to its credibility following reports that it turned a blind eye to suspicious blood tests results from hundreds of athletes.

It has fiercely denied wrongdoing and has pre-empted the latest round of revelations in the Sunday Times, it said, “for the sake of transparency”, making “the exceptional decision” to release in full the questions it received from the newspaper and its answers.

The questions related to what the Sunday Times, following expert analysis of blood values, called the “systematic blood doping” among Russian athletes in junior and under-23 competitions, which it alleged had been evident since 2007.

The newspaper said that of the 289 blood screens performed at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 under-23 championships, Russian athletes had the three most abnormal values at every event.

It asked the IAAF if it was aware of such an “apparently institutionalised doping regime” and what action it took.

The IAAF pointed out there was an independent World Anti-Doping Agency investigation ongoing into allegations of doping in Russia and its own actions in response to suspicious blood values.

It added: “The IAAF has stated on multiple occasions that it is confident in the follow-up testing which was in place at the time and we maintain this position. It is now appropriate to wait for the results of this independent report into our programme.”

The Sunday Times also asked the IAAF to explain what it called its “jaw-dropping hypocrisy” in saying that blood samples taken before the introduction of the biological passport in 2009 could not be used as proof of doping while using such tests in a case against Greek athlete Eirini Kokkinariou.

The IAAF said it used pre-2009 values purely as “additional corroborating evidence”.

“There was no attempt by the IAAF in the Kokkinariou case or any other case to rely on the pre-2009 values on their own as proof of doping and any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong,” it added.

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