Athletics hit by doping charges over leaked tests
THE world of athletics was rocked yesterday by "wild" doping allegations involving hundreds of suspect blood samples, just as global sports leaders were meeting in Malaysia.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and sports federation chiefs woke to the news that test data from athletics' world body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was leaked to news organisations, and that it allegedly showed suspect samples from athletes, including Olympic and world championship medallists.
Britain's Sunday Times newspaper and German broadcaster ARD/WDR say they were given access to the results of over 12,000 blood tests provided by more than 5,000 athletes over 11 years, in a case that could plunge athletics into a new doping crisis.
The tests showed more than 800 athletes had given blood samples that were "highly suggestive" of doping or "abnormal", reported the BBC, which added that it had also seen the documents.
The news appeared to take IAAF president Lamine Diack by surprise, and he offered no immediate reaction when contacted by Reuters.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said it was alarmed by the size and extent of the allegations.
"These are wild allegations, wide allegations and we will check them out and have that done with the commission as quickly as possible," Wada chief Craig Reedie told reporters at the IOC session meeting in Malaysia.
An independent commission is already investigating previous allegations of mass doping.