IAAF suppressed study of admitted dope cheats: report

Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:15am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - World athletics' governing body (IAAF) has suppressed a 2011 survey that reveals that up to a third of the world's top competitors admitted using banned performance-enhancing techniques, Britain's Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR reported.

The authors of the study, which involved interviews with 1,800 athletes at the 2011 world championships in South Korea, were told to sign a confidentiality agreement a month after the information had been collected and analyzed, the newspaper said.

The revelations are the latest in a series of damaging blows for the sport in the countdown to the start of this year's world championships in Beijing on Aug. 22.

Earlier investigations by ARD and the Sunday Times prompted claims that more than 800 athletes tested between 2001 and 2012 had suspicious test results that were not followed up by the IAAF.

The IAAF has since initiated disciplinary action against 28 athletes after retesting samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships with new technology that can uncover previously undetectable substances.

The organization came under heavy fire from the authors of the 2011 study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Tuebingen in Germany and leaked to The Sunday Times and ARD/WDR.

"The IAAF's delaying publication for so long without good reason is a serious encroachment on the freedom of publication," a statement from the researchers said.

The statement added that the IAAF had not commissioned the survey but had used its influence to suppress the findings.

Reacting to the latest accusations in a statement, the IAAF said it "had never vetoed" publication of the survey and understood it had twice been rejected for publication in a scientific journal.   Continued...