Mark Wetmore, Lamine Diack, Nick Davies, IAAF 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net
LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames informs that Nick Davies, deputy general secretary of the IAAF has described media stories alleging that 150 athletes, including several Olympic champions, had suspicious blood values between but were not subject to proper target testing as “misleading” and “unethical”. The allegations surfaced following the third installment of the German broadcaster ARD’s investigation on doping in athletics. In a letter to the American website, LetsRun.com, Davies, a highly respected figure in the sport and its official spokesman, acknowledges the first two installments as being “very useful”, in that they uncovered evidence which can be used “to investigate alleged infractions and perhaps end up with concrete sanctions.” But the third episode, which claimed that a number of athletes – including many from Russia as well as others from Kenya, Germany, Spain, Morocco and one well known Briton – had allegedly produced abnormal blood values between 2006 and 2008, was strongly criticized by Davies.
( Editor’s note: Nick Davies has been a spokesperson for the IAAF, among his other duties, for many years. Well respected, charming, and most of all, appreciative of the complex world those of us in media inhabit, Nick Davies took some unusual steps for him last week. First, he wrote to Letsrun.com, one of the most well known global sites on distance running, to explain what he saw as a misleading report on ARD TV regarding 150 athletes who had allegedly been ignored for ” suspicious tests”.
If such were the case, the recent blood test I personally took to see how the athlete passport worked, would have been labeled suspicious. In truth, first tests and even second and third tests, help give IAAF a chance to have a base reading on the athletes, in order that if doping is used, changes in red blood cell counts, white blood cell counts, and most importantly, hemocrit (a normal training athlete will have a hematocrit level of 13.5 to 15.5).
Nick Davies, as anyone who has dealt with him, will tell you, has serious concerns about insuring the privacy of athletes and the integrity of testing. For the sport to have a truly effective testing program, the feeding frenzy that has happened recently on doping has to have some reason, and some basis in fact.
And I will to continue to write for a fringe running blog.)