Doping cover-up scandal hits IAAF

A third of all the medals in endurance events at the Olympic Games at World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who had “suspicious” results in doping tests.

This according to reports by England’s Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WRD, which both claim to be in possession of 2 000 blood tests from 5 000 athletes during that period.

Both media houses said the documents belonged to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and were disseminated by a whistleblower.

Robin Parisotto, a scientist and expert on the matter, analysed the data and was interviewed by the Sunday Times and ARD/WRD.  Parisotto said the data was "highly suggestive of doping or at the very least abnormal".

"Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values,” he told the Sunday Times.

"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."

The IAAF reportedly threatened to take out an injunction to prevent publication of the information, and released a statement on its website on Sunday.

“(The allegations) are largely based on analysis of an IAAF Data Base of private and confidential medical data which has been obtained without consent,” it said.

“The IAAF is now preparing a detailed response to both media outlets and will reserve the right to take any follow up action necessary to protect the rights of the IAAF and its athletes.”

The Sunday Times report claims:

  • That athletes with suspicious test results won a total of 146 medals, including 55 golds, at the Olympics and World Championships during the period.
  • That 800 athletes, one of every seven tested in the files, recorded suspicious results in drugs tests.
  • That 80 percent of the Russian medalists and 18 Kenyan medalists during the period recorded suspicious results

Sir Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said he was "very alarmed" by the allegations.

“WADA is very disturbed by these new allegations that have been raised by ARD; which will, once again, shake the foundation of clean athletes worldwide," Sky News reports him to have said.

Reedie added that the information would be passed on to WADA’s Independent Commission for investigation, but stressed that all the athletes involved should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Sergei Bubka, IAAF vice president, promised that the organization would collaborate with WADA.