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Athletics IAAF defends World Championships anti-doping operation

Ahead of the World Championships, the IAAF has moved to defend its anti-doping programme.

  • Published:
play (Omni Sports)

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has hit back at claims it is to scale back its anti-doping operation at the World Championships in Beijing.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the IAAF would "abandon its policy of drug-testing every athlete", despite recent allegations of widespread doping.

However, the IAAF has responded angrily to those claims ahead of the event in China - which commences on Saturday.

"The level of our anti-doping programme will not be reduced at these Championships," an IAAF spokesperson explained to Omnisport.

"The IAAF is the only international sports federation which has ever twice blood tested all the competitors at its World Championships at this level. A total of 2,000 athletes in both 2011 and 2013.

"No other sport has ever tested so many athletes at the same event.

"The IAAF collected a blood sample from every athlete at the previous two World Championships because, at the time, it was establishing the Athlete Biological Passport in Athletics with a specific interest in establishing population-based reference values.

"Another two years on, the Passport is now well-established and it has proved an effective tool not only for pursuing anti-doping rule violations but also as an intelligence source for the target testing of specific athletes.

"The IAAF will be collecting between 600 and 700 blood samples at these Championships and the majority of these will be targeted samples. The focus this time around will be on detection and elite athletes rather than deterrence and mass screening.

"In addition, all the usual urine tests will take place in Beijing on exactly the same level as at previous World Championships."


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