Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after blood test leak

Sun Aug 2, 2015 2:36pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Endurance runners suspected of doping have been winning a third of Olympic and world championship medals, two news organizations said on Sunday, after a leak of thousands of blood test results from 2001-2012 threw global athletics into chaos.

Britain's Sunday Times newspaper and Germany's ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained the secret data from the vaults of the global athletics governing body, the IAAF, supplied by a whistleblower disgusted by the extent of doping.

The news organizations showed the data to two experts, who concluded distance running was in the same state as cycling had been when Lance Armstrong won the seven Tour de France victories of which he has since been stripped.

"Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values," the Sunday Times quoted Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto, one of the two scientists, as saying.

"So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen," said Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent EPO.

The latest allegations could cast a shadow over the biennial world athletics championships in Beijing beginning Aug. 22.

The IAAF did not immediately address the substance of the reports but said it was preparing a response. It noted the reports were based on confidential information obtained without permission.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, a separate body set up in 1999 to coordinate doping investigations across global sport, said it was "very disturbed".   Continued...

Competitors run during the men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz in this file photo taken on March 28, 2010. REUTERS/Peter Andrews