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Doping scandal takes athletics world by storm

German TV channel and British daily claim leaked IAAF database of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 competitors reveal 'extraordinary' levels of doping; WADA 'alarmed'

Kuala Lumpur: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said yesterday it was "very alarmed" by accusations of mass doping that have plunged athletics into a deep crisis. WADA president Craig Reedie said the new claims would "shake the foundation" of athletes trying to stay clean.

It's all hazy: Athletes compete in the men's 100m semi-final of the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia recently. Pic/AFP
It's all hazy: Athletes compete in the men's 100m semi-final of the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia recently. Pic/AFP 

German TV channel ARD and Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said they had been leaked a database belonging to athletics governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with details of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 competitors which revealed "extraordinary" levels of doping.

"These are wild allegations, wide allegations," said Reedie at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting. "WADA is very disturbed by these new allegations that have been raised by ARD," he added.

ARD and the Sunday Times said the data was leaked by a "whistleblower" and that they had asked Australian doping experts Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto to examine the results. The experts said that 800 athletes in disciplines from 800m to the marathon registered values suspicious or highly suspicious. Tests showed increased use of blood transfusions and hard to detect EPO micro-doses to boost red cell count and performances.

The report said at least a third of the medal-winners at world championships and Olympics between 2001 and 2012 gave suspicious tests. It claimed that over 80 percent of Russia's medals were won by athletes with suspicious tests, while Kenya had 18 medals won suspiciously. The report however said that "Britain's Mo Farah and Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who have been the subject of whispering campaigns, emerge clean with no abnormal results."

Russia, Kenya slam story
Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko called the new allegations "nonsense" that were part of a power struggle within the IAAF. Kenya's athletics federation also hit back, calling the claims "libellous." The IAAF said it was aware of media reports and stressed that the data was "obtained without consent."

What the report reveals...

> A third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes, who recorded suspicious tests. None of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

> Over 800 athletes — 1 in 7 of those named in the files — have recorded blood tests described by an expert as "highly suggestive of doping or at the least abnormal."

> A top UK athlete is among seven Britons with "suspicious" blood scores.

> Star names such as Britain's Mo Farah and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who have been the subject of whispering campaigns, emerge as clean with no abnormal results.

> Ten medals at London 2012 were won by athletes, with dubious test results.

> Twenty-one athletes recorded blood values so extreme they risked heart attacks or strokes, and should have been given emergency treatment to have their blood drained.

> Russia emerges as "the blood testing epicentre of the world" with more than 80 per cent of the country's medals won by suspicious athletes, while Kenya had 18 medals won by suspicious athletes.

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