IAAF plans extensive doping controls for worlds

Updated: February 26, 2009, 10:02 AM ET
Associated Press

MONACO -- The IAAF began out-of-competition testing on athletes who may compete at the world championships and will carry out more than 1,000 blood and urine doping controls during the event.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said Thursday the anti-doping program for the August 15-23 championships in Berlin is the most extensive conducted by the sport's governing body.

"We will have increased intelligent testing in the out-of-competition period leading up to the championships, better testing during the championships itself, and will store samples after the event for future analysis," IAAF president Lamine Diack said in a statement.

The 1,000-plus tests during the championships is 300 more than conducted on track and field athletes at the Beijing Olympics.

The IAAF will selectively freeze samples from Berlin for future analysis should new doping products or methods become detectable in the future.

Athletes who are likely to compete in Berlin already have been subjected to hundreds of tests since late last year. The IAAF also will begin implementing biological passports, for blood and urine, to monitor the individual profiles of athletes.

"We know that the cheats do not rest, so neither will we," Diack said.

The IAAF released statistics from its 2008 anti-doping program, showing a total of 3,487 urine and EPO tests, including 1,823 checks outside of competition. The figures do not include the Beijing Olympics, where testing was handled by the International Olympic Committee.

The five nations with the most athletes tested out of competition were Russia, Belarus, China, the United States and Jamaica.

The IAAF listed 697 athletes who were tested out of competition last year. It said 106 were tested four or five times, 46 were checked six or seven times and 17 athletes were controlled more than eight times. One unidentified athlete had 14 tests, the IAAF said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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