Widespread Doping In Athletics? IOC Pledges “Zero Tolerance”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it will act with “zero tolerance” should allegations of widespread doping in athletics be justified.

The Sunday Times published data from 5, 000 athletes, which it says reveals “extraordinary extent of cheating.”

Dubious blood values were recorded for more than 800 athletes of those named in the cache “highly suggestive of doping.”

The data – part of confidential documents belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)- was primarily leaked by a whistleblower to an investigative journalists working with German broadcaster ARD/WDR and analysed by two independent experts.

“At this time we’ve nothing more than allegations and we have to respect the presumption of innocence,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

They are results of 12,000 blood tests covering the period between 2001 and 2012. A documentary by the ARD/WDR claims that one in every three of all medals in long/middle distance races at Olympics and World Championships were won by athletes who recorded suspicious tests – 146 of those medals in question, including 55 golds.

Lamine Diack's Mandate as IAAF President Ends on 19 August When His Successor Will Be Elected. Image: IAAF.
Lamine Diack’s Mandate as IAAF President Ends on 19 August When His Successor Will Be Elected. Image: IAAF.

“If there should be cases involving results at Olympic Games, the IOC will act with zero tolerance with our usual policy,” said Bach.

It also claims the control mechanisms in many countries were blood doping are largely relied upon have been altered to suit defaulting athletes.

Outgoing head of world athletics, Lamine Diack, says suggestions that his organisation had been negligent in the drug-testing of athletes was “laughable.”

“I believe that the IAAF has always shown that it is absolutely aware that it cannot allow doubts about the performances accomplished by athletes,” he said.

Diack, 82, also told the IOC about the “desire to redistribute medals.”

The IAAF said the data had been obtained “without consent” and it reserved the right to take any follow-up action necessary.

An independent commission of the World Anti- Doping Agency (Wada) will investigate allegations made by the documentary titled Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletic.

Athletes could be stripped of their Olympic medals by the IOC if drug-cheat claims are proved, so also the international governing body of respective Olympic sport.