Tuesday July 16, 2019
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IAAF accused of suppressing athletes’ doping study

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New York, The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been accused of blocking a study which showed as many as a third of the world’s top athletes violating anti-doping rules.

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www.bbc.com

 
The University of Tubingen in Germany is reported to have said that the IAAF blocked publication of the study, Sunday Times reported on Saturday.

Hundreds of athletes apparently told researchers in 2011 that they had cheated.

The IAAF said discussions were going on about the report’s publication.

In a statement to the newspaper, the university said: “The study is an independently initiated scientific research project and was not commissioned by the IAAF. The IAAF’s delaying publication for so long without good reason is a serious encroachment on the freedom of publication.”

The governing body responded saying: “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.”

Four years ago, a team of academic researchers interviewed hundreds of athletes at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. The Sunday Times reported the study concluded that 29 to 34 percent of the 1,800 competitors at the championships had violated anti-doping rules.

It said that a month after collecting the information, the researchers were told to sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent them speaking out about the admissions.

A leaked copy of the full study has been seen by the Sunday Times. “These findings demonstrate that doping is remarkably widespread among elite athletes, and remains largely unchecked despite current biological testing programs,” the newspaper concluded.

The findings are similar to the newspaper’s revelations a fortnight ago after it obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes.

Two leading anti-doping experts found that, between 2001 and 2012, a third of medals, including 55 golds, were won in endurance events in the Olympics and World Championships by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests.

(IANS)

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S. African Runner Caster Semenya Files an Appeal to Uphold Testosterone Regulations

``I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete,'' Semenya said. ``The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am"

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South Africa's Caster Semenya competes in the women's 800-meter final during the Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, May 3, 2019. VOA

South African runner Caster Semenya filed an appeal Wednesday against the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to uphold testosterone regulations for some female athletes in track and field.

Attorneys for the two-time Olympic 800-meter champion said she lodged an appeal with the Swiss Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s supreme court. CAS, sport’s highest court, is based in Switzerland. Semenya’s appeal focuses on “fundamental human rights,” the attorneys said.

Under the International Association of Athletics Federations’ new rules, upheld by the CAS this month, Semenya is not allowed to run in international races from 400 meters to one mile unless she medically lowers her natural testosterone levels. She said after the CAS decision that she would not take medication and repeated her defiance in Wednesday’s statement announcing her appeal.

“I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete,” Semenya said. “The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.” Semenya, 28, who is also a three-time world champion, is one of a number of female athletes with medical conditions known as differences of sex development that cause high levels of natural testosterone. The IAAF says that gives them an advantage over other female athletes because of testosterone’s ability to help athletes build muscle and carry more oxygen in their blood.

Hormone-suppressing medication

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“I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete,” Semenya said. “The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.” Wikimedia Commons

The IAAF requires Semenya and others affected by the rules to take hormone-suppressing medication or have surgery if they want to compete in the restricted events. That’s been labeled unethical by leading medical experts, including the World Medical Association, which represents doctors across the world.

Semenya’s attorneys said that “the Swiss federal supreme court will be asked to consider whether the IAAF’s requirements for compulsory drug interventions violate essential and widely recognized public policy values, including the prohibition against discrimination, the right to physical integrity, the right to economic freedom and respect for human dignity.”

Decisions made by CAS can be appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal on only a very limited number of grounds. One of them is a ruling that possibly violates a person’s human rights.

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Semenya’s attorneys could also seek a temporary suspension of the IAAF rules, which came into effect May 8, to allow her to defend her 800 title at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, in September. The testosterone regulations specify that athletes must reduce their testosterone levels to a level decided by the IAAF for six months consistently before being allowed to run in international events.

Under the current regulations, Semenya can’t run the 800 or 1,500 meters, her favorite events, at any Diamond League meets this season or the world championships. (VOA)