Sun, Aug 09, 2015 - Page 18 News List

WADA advises athletes to report privacy breaches

AP, LAUSANNE, Switzerland

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) invited athletes on Friday to come forward if they feel their privacy was breached by leaked results of suspicious blood tests.

WADA said its independent commission would “urgently” investigate allegations of widespread doping in athletics aired by German broadcaster ARD.

“WADA is committed to protecting the confidentiality of athletes,” WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement.

“I ask that any athlete or anti-doping organization concerned that their rights are being eroded or inappropriately challenged refer those concerns to the commission,” he added.

The inquiry, led by International Olympic Committee member and former WADA head Dick Pound, began after ARD alleged systematic doping in Russian athletics in December last year.

A follow-up program broadcast on Sunday last week alleged that International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) files showed 800 suspicious results in blood samples from 5,000 athletes in the years from 2001 to 2012.

ARD and British newspaper the Sunday Times suggested the IAAF did not act on the evidence.

“WADA deplores the manner in which this data was obtained, leaked to the media and analyzed,” Reedie said. “To suggest or imply doping with respect to any athlete whose data is contained within the database is, at the very least, irresponsible and potentially libelous.”

Reedie pledged on Monday that the allegations would be referred to Pound’s team, which is due to report this year.

“We are confident that the IAAF, which has formally agreed to full cooperation with the commission with respect to its inquiries, is equally committed,” Reedie said.

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