Confident Bubka targets doping in IAAF role

Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:29am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Former Olympic champion Sergey Bubka thinks the fight against doping is the main task facing whoever triumphs in Wednesday's IAAF presidential election, a vote he is still confident he will win.

Flanked by fellow Ukrainian sporting greats in footballer Andriy Shevchenko and boxer Vitali Klitschko, Bubka defended his sport's record in the battle against drug cheats but said clearly more needed to be done.

Bubka will take on another former great of the sport in Britain's Sebastian Coe in Wednesday's ballot, which has been overshadowed by allegations of wholesale doping in athletics over the last three weeks.

The six-times world champion said that far from being negligent when faced with evidence of doping, the International Association of Athletics Federation had, in fact, led the way in the fight.

"We were first with biological athlete passports, we try to use scientific knowledge. We invest more than any other federation and we will continue," he told Reuters in Beijing.

"We are in favor of life bans, four-year bans, and this we will continue to do. But we must do it according to the regulations. If we need to strengthen them, we will strengthen them."

While Coe is committed to moving towards a fully independent anti-doping agency to deal with violations in international athletics, Bubka said he would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to chart the best way forward.

"WADA play this role and invest a lot of money. We need to assess, we need to consult. One of the main subjects for the IAAF is which way we go," he said.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and pole vault legend Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, arrives at the Juan Santamaria international airport in Alajuela August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate