IAAF criticized by London Marathon for anti-doping failure

Sun Aug 9, 2015 3:13pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Organizers of the London Marathon criticized athletics' governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), on Sunday for its "failure to take effective action" in the war on doping.

Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London race, said he was "disappointed" in the IAAF after fresh allegations made by the British newspaper, the Sunday Times, in the continuing doping storm which has thrown the sport into turmoil.

Thirty-two medal winners at the world's six top city marathons were among the hundreds of long distance runners with suspicious blood test results revealed in a leak, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

It said the London Marathon was won seven times over a 12-year period by athletes who had given suspicious blood tests at some point in their careers.

No athletes were named in the claims but London organizers said they had never been informed of abnormal blood test results at their event "between 2001 and 2012, or subsequently."

The claims prompted Bitel to release a statement saying the Marathon would "be discussing the implications of the allegations with the IAAF."

On BBC radio's Sportsweek program, Bitel added that, although the Marathon paid "tens of thousands of pounds" to test athletes, it did not administer the procedures and did not see the results, so were unaware of any abnormal tests.

"We are disappointed," he said. "We're doing more than anybody else to fight doping in our sport.

"What this story is really about is the IAAF's failure to take effective action. Those athletes that have been caught have only been caught because of the tests at the London Marathon.   Continued...

Participants talk before the start of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations in Lausanne, in this March 24, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files