Rabat - Endurance runners representing a third of the Olympic and World Championship medals won since 2001 are now suspected of doping, after thousands of blood test results were leaked from the global athletics governing body, the IAAF.
Rabat – Endurance runners representing a third of the Olympic and World Championship medals won since 2001 are now suspected of doping, after thousands of blood test results were leaked from the global athletics governing body, the IAAF.
Britain’s Sunday Times and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said that the documents were given to them by a whistleblower who was appalled by the amount of doping happening among the world’s top runners.
The news organizations turned to two of the world’s “foremost anti-doping experts”, scientists Robin Parisotto and Michael Ashenden, to examine the data more closely.
“Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values. So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen,” Parisotto said.
According to Ashenden, the files show that athletics is now in the same “diabolical position” as cycling during the Lance Armstrong era. He said it was “a shameful betrayal of [the IAAF’s] primary duty to police their sport and to protect clean athletes.”
Athletes suspected of doping accounted for 146 medals at top events, including 55 golds, according to the Sunday Times. Russia accounted for the most by far, with 415 abnormal tests, followed by Morocco, Ukraine, Spain, Kenya, Turkey and others.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, which helps to police doping across sports worldwide, said it was “very disturbed”.
The allegations “will, once again, shake the foundations of clean athletes worldwide,” WADA President Craig Reedie said at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Kuala Lumpur.
“These are wild allegations, wide allegations and we will check them out and have that done with the commission as quickly as possible,” Reedie said.
The IAAF did not immediately address the matter, but said it was preparing a response. It noted the reports were based on confidential information obtained and released without approval.
While the results are not concrete proof of doping, they raise valuable questions as to whether the world of sports is doing enough to discourage doping and other forms of cheating, especially in light of the world athletics championships coming up next month in Beijing.