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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Athletics Ireland 'deeply concerned' about Sunday Times doping allegations

CEO John Foley has called on the IAAF to act immediately on the allegations.

Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley.
Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

ATHLETICS IRELAND SAY they are “deeply concerned” about allegations of widespread doping in the sport, following an investigation by The Sunday Times and a German documentary this weekend.

It is alleged that almost one third of medalists a the Olympic Games and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 had recorded “suspicious” drugs tests.

The newspaper and German TV network ARD/WRD obtained a leaked database belonging to the IAAF containing 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the 11-year spell.

Earlier the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said they were “very disturbed” with the findings of the investigation, and Athletics Ireland have echoed those sentiments, but say they believe it may prove to be a turning point for the sport’s war on drugs.

“Athletics Ireland are deeply concerned about the allegations of suspected widespread doping in elite athletics over many years made in a documentary broadcast on the German ARD/WRD network and published by the Sunday Times this weekend but welcome it as an opportunity for athletics to continue its battle against doping,” the statement read.

CEO of Athletics Ireland John Foley has called on the IAAF to act on findings of the damning report immediately.

“Athletics Ireland believes in a zero tolerance policy for doping and we are fully committed alongside the Irish Sports Council (ISC) to enforce the the rules. Athletics Ireland shares the concerns expressed by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and we call on the IAAF, as the world governing body for the sport, to clarify the situation as soon as possible,” he said.

My Foley added that the reputation of the sport hangs on its public perception, and that athletics can only grow in Ireland if the sport is as clean as possible.

“Our record for tackling doping stands for itself down through the years. Ireland are at the forefront of testing athletes and we stand confidently over the drug testing programme administered by the ISC which sees athletics as the most tested sport in Ireland.

“We have a fantastic sport which is growing annually in Ireland and we want to ensure that all the stakeholders in our sport are committed to a clean environment for our athletes.”

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Neil Treacy

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