Science will prevail in doping firestorm: WADA chief

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:34am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Science will ultimately put out the doping firestorm that has engulfed athletics in the run-up to the world championships, Craig Reedie, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said on Friday.

The governing body of athletics, the IAAF, has been in crisis since data from thousands of blood samples was leaked to two media organizations this month.

Three weeks of further leaks and allegations that the IAAF has been soft on dopers have overshadowed the run-up to its biennial showpiece, which opens in Beijing with the men's marathon on Saturday.

WADA were asked to form an independent commission to investigate the allegations by German broadcaster ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times that the IAAF had failed to probe hundreds of "suspicious" tests between 2001 and 2012.

"It’s been a little bit of a firestorm; I think the World Anti-Doping Agency has been pretty clear in its views that the allegations were based on data that was questionable from a scientific and a legal point of view," Reedie told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the championships.

"Our scientists and experts have already started working down in Monaco and we await the results of those investigations with interest.

"I would like to think that things are quietening down and I hope they are. At the end of the day, I’m quite certain science will prevail and we’ll come through this."

Reedie welcomed the election of Sebastian Coe to the IAAF presidency this week, saying his fellow Briton was a "convinced anti-doper" who would be a powerful ally in the battle against the use of banned substances in sport.   Continued...

Sir Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), attends a meeting at Jamaica's Olympic Association in Kingston February 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy