Doped-up athletes warned

MONACO - The world athletics championships, which get under way in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday will be the target of the most comprehensive drug-testing programme ever conducted, the IAAF said yesterday.

MONACO - The world athletics championships, which get under way in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday will be the target of the most comprehensive drug-testing programme ever conducted, the IAAF said yesterday.

More than 1000 samples will be collected, both before and during the competition, the world sport's governing body promised at its Monaco headquarters.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said the two-week championships were a chance to give recognition to clean athletes: "I would like to turn our attention back to the majority of athletes who will compete based on skill and years of hard work and sacrifice."

Around 600 blood samples will be taken in Berlin before the championships and another 400 blood and urine samples during the competition itself.

Diack said: "Athletes should be well aware that not only do we have the possibility to store samples, but that already in the past year the IAAF has prosecuted several cases based on reanalysed samples."

Five athletes competing at last year's Beijing Olympics, including Bahrain's 1500m champion Rashid Ramzi, were caught out after samples were re-tested in February and found to contain a new form of the banned blood booster EPO-CERA. - AFP

X