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IAAF denies blocking report


IAAF denies blocking report

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LONDON – Athletics’ governing body has denied blocking publication of a study which reportedly says a third of top athletes admitted violating anti-doping rules.

The Sunday Times said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suppressed the survey, conducted at the 2011 Daegu World Championships.

But the IAAF said it had “never vetoed publication of this article”.

Meanwhile, a German TV documentary claims four leading Russian athletes could face bans.

Responding to the Sunday Times story, the IAAF said that “this is not a new story”, adding that the claims were initially made on German TV in 2013.

The IAAF played no role in the study but said it was a “social science-based survey” conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and a team of researchers at the athletes’ village in Daegu, South Korea.

However the IAAF did have the power to veto its publication by WADA in return for allowing access to the competitors at Daegu.

The University of Tubingen in Germany, who conducted the study, said: “The IAAF’s delaying publication for so long without good reason is a serious encroachment on the freedom of publication.”

A leaked copy of the full study has been seen by The Sunday Times and the German broadcaster ARD/WDR.

The results of the study showed that 29 to 34 per cent of the 1 800 competitors at the championships had violated anti-doping rules in the previous 12 months.

“These findings demonstrate that doping is remarkably widespread among elite athletes, and remains largely unchecked despite current biological testing programmes,” the study said.

A month after collecting the information and analysing it, they were told to sign a confidentiality agreement and have now criticised the IAAF for preventing its publication. (BBC/Reuters)