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IAAF slams comparisons with UCI on doping

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 World athletics' governing body the IAAF said it "strongly rejected" allegations of thousands of suspicious blood tests from athletes, and insisted it was taking every possible measure to combat doping. PHOTO/AFP

World athletics’ governing body the IAAF said it “strongly rejected” allegations of thousands of suspicious blood tests from athletes, and insisted it was taking every possible measure to combat doping. PHOTO/AFP

MONACO, August 14- Athletics governing body, IAAF has slammed comparisons between them and their cycling counterparts, UCI over combating doping in the face of serious allegations sparked by German TV, ARD’s explosive documentary.

“At the risk of sounding repetitive by reiterating what we have said before, the IAAF spent USD $2,300,000 in 2014 on our anti-doping programme on testing alone.

“When the cost of administrative support (10 full-time members of staff) and litigation is also added, it brings the overall expenditure up to more than USD $3,000,000,” IAAF said in a statement on Friday.

“This is, without doubt, the highest proportion of an annual budget of any equivalent sporting federation or organisation,” it added.

“The International Federation responsible for world cycling – the UCI – ­spent approximately CHF 1,100,000 (approximately USD $1,130,000 at current exchange rates) on anti-doping in 2013 via what is known as the ‘Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation’.

“It is our understanding that this contribution has even been reduced since then,” IAAF charged.

“The vast majority of cycling’s anti-doping budget comes not from the UCI itself but comes from contributions by the pro-tour cycling teams, the event organisers and the riders themselves.

“We know that 80% of the money in testing in cycling goes to male members from the UCI pro-tour team. The teams do not spend to test female riders or cross-country or track cycling or other cycling disciplines. It is the reality of the UCI system that their budget of around CHF 1,000,000 is used to cover all the disciplines of cycling,” the world body explained

“But a deeper analysis indicates that when it comes to testing for ‘Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents’ (i.e. EPO), and the use of the athlete biological passport (ABP) – two areas of concern highlighted in the past week – cycling very much leads the way.

Last year, 5,757 samples were analysed for EPO in athletics, as opposed to 7,845 in cycling,” British paper Daily Telegraph who published the doping claims alongside ARD wrote in a report comparing the two world body in terms of ‘cleanliness’ in their sport.

“The gap was even more pronounced when breaking down the figures to compare those conducted by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and those by the IAAF. The UCI analysed 9,483 urine and blood samples in 2014, two and a half times more than the IAAF (3,841). It also analysed twice as many samples for EPO: 3,252 compared with 1,563.

It is a similar story with the ABP, with 3,317 samples analysed from athletics last year, as opposed to 8,053 from cycling. Interestingly, the UCI carried out 5,828 such analyses in its own sport (72 per cent of the total), while the IAAF was responsible for just 922 (28 per cent) in athletics,” Telegraph added.

“At the IAAF, the federation’s own money is spent to cover every aspect of the sport – from track and field to cross country, road running, walking and mountain running – men and women.

“If the intention is to imply that ‘cycling’ does more and spends more than ‘athletic’ worldwide (rather than referring to the facts about what the respective federations are doing, and which the IAAF hope we have just done) then we propose that media refer to the WADA annual sport by sport comparison.

“This comparison shows that the sport of Athletics did over 25,000 tests worldwide in 2014 while cycling did 23,000 tests, so logic suggests that athletics spends more than cycling worldwide in the field of testing,” IAAF charged.

“We regret the attempt by a selected group of media to set Athletics against Cycling, since the IAAF has the greatest respect for the work being done by the UCI in the field of anti-doping. There is strong collaboration between the two organisations in areas of experience sharing, trend-mapping and general anti-doping intelligence.

“We also strongly believe that these two international federations are leaders in the field and should be held up as an example to others in the fight for Clean Sport.”

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