WADA to probe new doping reports
Three weeks before the World Championships, athletics was thrown into turmoil by new accusations of widespread doping and experts denouncing an anti-doping system compromised by leniency.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) responded to the "wild allegations" made by two European media outlets of suspicious drug tests in athletics by asking an independent body to investigate.
WADA president Craig Reedie said yesterday he was surprised by the scale of the allegations, including that one-third of medals in endurance races at the Olympics and World Championships over a 10-year period were won by athletes who recorded suspicious doping tests.
German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain said they obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes. The files came from the database of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and were leaked by a whistleblower, according to the reports.
Anti-doping scientist Robin Parisotto, who reviewed the data from the period covering 2001 to 2012 with blood-doping expert Michael Ashenden, was critical of the federation, saying many athletes appeared to "have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen".
Reedie said the material from the new ARD programme and The Sunday Times would be turned over immediately to WADA's independent commission for investigation.
"These are wild allegations, wide allegations, and we'll have to check them out, and we'll have done that by the commission as quickly as possible," Reedie said in Kuala Lumpur, where he was attending International Olympic Committee meetings.