As Beijing Approaches, Time to Separate the Truth from Chinese Whispers, by Kevin Byrne for Jumping The Gun

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Kevin Byrne wrote an excellent piece on dispelling the myths about the recent drug allegations. Kevin Byrne writes for one of our newest partners, JumpingtheGun.com, a fantastic site based in Ireland. 

AS BEIJING APPROACHES, TIME TO SEPARATE THE TRUTH FROM CHINESE WHISPERS

By Kevin Byrne

It has been little more than a week since the German documentary ARD aired and the Sunday Times printed their doping scandal exclusive. Since then, the IAAF has issued several statements, the Sunday Times experts have responded and a few other organisations and athletes have weighed in. In simple terms, the athletics world has lost its shit and no one knows who to trust any more. It's time to work out what is truth and what is fiction.

SO THIS GERMAN DUDE AND THE SUNDAY TIMES GOT HOLD OF THOUSANDS OF POSITIVE TESTS?

FALSE. What Hajo Seppelt and the Sunday Times managed to obtain was a database of 12,000 blood tests belonging to 5000 athletes. A minority of these were classed as 'abnormal'.

RIGHT, BUT THAT MEANS THAT THE ATHLETES WITH ABNORMAL BLOOD TEST RESULTS ARE DOPERS?

Taking the piss: Tatyana Tomashova, who had an extremely abnormal offscore of 129 (which had a 100,000-1 chance of being natural) when winning the World Championship 1500m in 2005, was later target tested and banned by the IAAF in 2008 after attempting to manipulate her urine sample. Image: PhotoRun

Taking the piss: Tatyana Tomashova, who had an extremely abnormal offscore of 129 (which experts say had a 100,000-1 chance of being natural) when winning the World Championship 1500m in 2005, was later target-tested and banned by the IAAF in 2008 after attempting to manipulate her urine sample. Image: PhotoRun

FALSE. Some of them may indeed be cheats. But both the Sunday Times and the IAAF concur that there can be many reasons for these abnormal test results: illness, altitude training, pregnancy, etc. In isolation, these results are in no way an indication of doping. They need to be put in context within the Athlete Biological Passport scheme.

OK. BUT THE IAAF COVERED UP THESE RESULTS, RIGHT?

FALSE. These are private medical records; they're not meant for the public domain. Even if they were all within the normal range, the IAAF is not permitted to share such data; it would be a breach of confidentiality. So yes, they were kept private. But that's not the same as a 'cover up'. Interestingly, while no names were revealed at the time, the IAAF published the percentages of abnormal blood tests in a study several years ago. Their figures tallied with those quoted by ARD and the Sunday Times.


To read the story in it's complete form: http://jumping-the-gun.com/?p=10136

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