Widespread Doping Allegations Rock Athletics World

Doping scandal

Photo courtesy of beepollenbenefits.net

Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has said that recent results will “shake the foundations of athletes trying to stay clean”

A database owned by the International Amateur Athletic Foundation (IAAF),which is athletics’ governing body, was leaked to German television channel ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times.  The IAAF has not denied or confirmed the allegations and has stated that these allegations are based on data obtained without its consent. The IAAF is in the process of submitting a comprehensive response.

It is reported that more than 12,000 blood tests of 5,000 athletes revealed very high levels of doping. According to reports, Reedie was shocked by the numbers involved.

“These are wild allegations, wild allegations,” Reedie told reporters.

With less than three weeks before the world championships in Beijing, athletes from Russia and Kenya are dominating the faulty test results allegations.

The Russian sport’s minister has called the allegations, “nonsense.” It is also alleged that 800 athletes who compete in the 800 m to the marathon returned suspicious results. It is also alleged that a third of medal winners at world championships and Olympics between 2001 to 2012 have had suspicious test results.

Scientists Michael Ashenden  — a Australian doping expert— told the ARD and the British Sunday Times; “In one event the entire podium was comprised of athletes, who in my opinion had most probably doped at some time in their career.”

Most of the tests showed an increase in the use of blood transfusions and EPO micro-doses which tend to boost red blood cell counts and enhance performances.

How a simple blood transfusion can provide cheaters with an advantage

According to The Scotsman, “Blood doping is the misuse of certain techniques or substances to increase an athlete’s red blood cells, allowing the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and increase stamina and performance.

One method is through the use of blood transfusions, with blood taken from an athlete’s body around a month before competition.

Around a pint of blood is taken before being vacuum-sealed and refrigerated. In the weeks that follow, the body increases red blood cell production to make up for the loss. Eventually, all the blood that has been lost is compensated for. In the days before the race, the transfused blood is then re-injected back into the athlete’s body, increasing the number of available red blood cells and their ability to transmit oxygen to the muscles. An athlete can put themselves at significant health risks using the technique.”

Blood doping

(AFP Photo/)

According to the reported allegations, the European Athletic President, Svein Arne Hansen, called on the global body to “clarify the situation and step up its already leading efforts to combat the scourge of doping”

Reedie has emphasized that the allegations must be addressed in an expeditious and acute manner in order to identify and prove that breaches of the World Anti-Doping Code had occurred.

An independent commission has been established by the International Olympic Committee to investigate the matter.

By TCC Staff

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