IAAF denies claim over blocking doping study

Aug 16, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT
A general view of the signange at the China National Stadium, also known as Bird's Nest, on August 16, 2015 in Beijing, China.
AFP/Getty Images

Athletics' governing body has denied blocking publication of a study which reportedly says a third of top athletes admitted violating anti-doping rules, reports the BBC.

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 governing body responded: "Discussions are ongoing with the research team and Wada [the World Anti-Doping Agency - the other partner in the project] regarding publication of the study." UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek:

"The IAAF believes that the scientific rigour of that survey didn't pass muster. They claim they've been conducting their own prevalence survey."

Four years ago, a team of academic researchers interviewed hundreds of athletes at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Although the IAAF played no role in the study, it had the power to veto its publication by Wada in return for allowing access to the competitors at Daegu.

The Sunday Times reports the study concluded that 29%-34% of the 1,800 competitors at the championships had violated anti-doping rules in the previous 12 months. It says that a month after collecting the information, the researchers were told to sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent them speaking out about the admissions.