The ARD-TV and Sunday Times reports on 12,500 drug tests and the alleged five thousand abnormalities are examples of what is wrong with sports, but also, what is wrong with media today. The timing of the reports and filming could not be better.
Endurance events under spotlight
KUALA LUMPUR (MAS): Insidethegames reports that IOC member and Athens 2004 high jump champion Stefan Holm has called for more specific testing of suspicious athletes following the emergence of data allegedly showing a third of all medallists in endurance events at major championships over the last decade produced abnormal blood samples. The Swede admitted he believed that the authorities were winning the war against doping cheats but felt “shocked” when reading the latest allegations. This follows the leaking of IAAF data to German TV station ARD and the Sunday Times in London, showing the results of 12,359 blood tests given by more than 5,000 athletes over an 11-year period starting in 2001. More than 800 athletes had given blood samples that were “highly suggestive” of doping or “abnormal”, it was reported, with a third of medals in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships over the period, including the London 2012 Olympic Games, won by athletes who submitted such samples. The documents allegedly show that 80 per cent of medals won by Russian athletes with suspicious blood values, while Kenya had 18 medals won by runners who may have been engaging in illegal methods. Current WADA President Sir Craig Reedie promised he would provide a reaction later.
KUALA LUMPUR (MAS): Reuters reports that the news from German TV and Sunday Times appeared to take the president of the IAAF Lamine Diack by surprise, and he offered no immediate reaction when contacted by Reuters. The World Anti-Doping Agency said it was alarmed by the size and extent of the allegations. “These are wild allegations, wide allegations and we will check them out and have that done with the commission as quickly as possible,” WADA chief Craig Reedie told reporters at the IOC Session meeting in Malaysia. “There will be zero tolerance, this is clear,” IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka said after meeting with WADA’s Reedie and Diack, who is stepping down later this month. “The IAAF is translating the script as it is important to clearly understand the specific allegations. We will not go into details now but the IAAF is a very strong leader in the fight against doping. We will not stop the fight. If we need to change rules and regulations we will do it,” said Bubka and added the international federation would issue a statement later commenting on the specific allegations.
LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen published a statement on recent doping allegations. “The allegations of suspected widespread doping in top-level athletics over many years made in a documentary broadcast on the German ARD/WRD network and published by the Sunday Times this weekend are a cause for deep dismay and yet another indication of how much we as a sport still have to do to ensure that athletics is free of doping and seen to be fair and clean. Without comment on the veracity of the various claims or the leaking of confidential files from the IAAF, European Athletics shares the concerns expressed by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and we call on the IAAF, as the world governing body for the sport, to clarify the situation and step up its already leading efforts to combat the scourge of doping. I have on many occasions expressed our policy of zero tolerance for doping and our commitment to doing everything we as one of the six IAAF Area associations can to enforce the existing rules. But we are under no illusions that there is an easy fix, and we are currently developing other ideas that we can introduce in Europe as examples for the rest of the sport around the world or propose to the IAAF and WADA for worldwide implementation. I will give this work an increased priority in the coming months. As the European Athletics President I will become a member of the IAAF Council after the World Championships in Athletics and in this position I will constantly push the new IAAF president and my IAAF Council colleagues to make sure the words of their campaigns about the fight against doping are translated into action and that the IAAF is completely transparent about its work in this area,” it says among other.
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