Track & Field

Doping documentary alleges 1 in 3 medallists doped, AK complicit in cover-up

An explosive documentary aired on German TV network ARD this evening alleges widespread doping among Kenyan athletes and produces evidence which apparently proves Athletics Kenya has been complicit in covering up positive doping tests in return for financial payments.

The documentary also alleges as many as one in six top athletes in the past decade has almost certainly engaged in doping during their career.

The documentary, titled “Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics”, also undertakes an analysis of a secret database of blood values belonging to the IAAF and the results make for grim reading for those who believe doping to be a minor problem at the top level of the sport.

The list, comprising more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012, including
numerous Olympic and World champions, was statistically analysed by the ARD Doping Editorial Team, together with the British newspaper the Sunday Times, and then passed on to leading blood doping experts for their review.

Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto, two of the world’s foremost experts on the biological passport, came to some depressing conclusions about the prevalance of doping from 800m to the marathon in that period. Analysing 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes between the years of 2001 and 2012, they concluded that 800 athletes had readings that were suspicious or highly suspicious.

Focusing on medal winners alone, the conclusion was that every third medal was won by an athlete with suspicious blood values.

“To put it simply, the prevalence of doping in track and field is alarming,”  said Parisotto. “Despite the criticism, the sport of cycling in comparison has responded well to the challenge that they faced back in the late 90s and early 2000s. That is the challenge now, that it seems to be confronting the IAAF. So in terms of where they are, they probably ten or fifteen years behind cycling.”

To watch the documentary in full in English, click here.






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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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