Athletes must not feel obliged to reveal personal history says Coe

Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:30pm EDT
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - International athletes should not feel they have to reveal their personal and private medical details to prove they are clean and have not been blood-doping, Britain's IAAF presidential candidate Sebastian Coe said on Wednesday.

In a telephone interview with international media, Coe also said he still wanted to see the sport set up its own independent anti-doping agency to help combat allegations that the sport's governing body is not doing enough to weed out drug cheats and is complicit in the sport's doping problems.

He said he wanted such a body to work closely with WADA, the world anti-doping agency.

Coe, standing against Sergey Bubka of Ukraine in next week's IAAF presidential election in Beijing, was speaking the day after the federation announced historic bans on 28 athletes following the re-testing of samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships.

This follows allegations made by British newspaper the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD about widespread cheating at Olympics and world championships.

In the wake of the controversies, some athletes, including Britain's double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah, have said they will reveal details of their testing histories but Coe says he does not want them to do that.

"I would not want athletes to feel that they were being pressurized or bullied into putting out private medical background and data that could be misinterpreted as one-off readings. There is no onus on them to do that," he said.

"The systems are in place in both the IAAF and WADA to protect them and to allow us at the same time to protect the clean athletes and weed out the cheats.   Continued...

British politician and former athlete Sebastian Coe, speaks to the media after attending the North, Central America and Caribbean Senior Championships inauguration at the National stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica August 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate