Press Release09 Dec 2014

IAAF statement in response to further media allegations


IAAF logo (© IAAF)

In response to further allegations made last night (8) in the WDR TV programme Inside Sport concerning the integrity of Athletics’ anti-doping programme with respect to the haemoglobin values of a number of athletes in the period 2006-2009, the IAAF would like to point out the following:

1. The Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was launched by the IAAF only in 2009, when WADA set out a harmonised regulatory framework allowing the use of reliable and comparable values. That was not the case before 2009 (different sample collections conditions, transportations and analytical equipment…).

2. The blood data collected before 2009 were used for target purposes to “trigger” follow-up urine tests for EPO detection. This was the practice by the few International Federations which were conducting blood tests back then (UCI, FIS). Abnormal results were duly followed-up by the IAAF, whenever possible logistically.

3. One cannot draw any conclusion on whether or not an athlete has doped on the basis of one single blood value. The whole concept of the ABP is to monitor the variations of an athlete’s profile consisting of multiple values.

4. A member of the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Commission would not know whether follow-up tests would have been conducted or not.

5. When they are available, the IAAF has used the blood values prior to 2009 as “secondary evidence”, in support of an increased sanction in addition to the post-2009 profile to establish the athlete’s long history of doping. However these values do not have the same level of reliability and strength as the post-2009 values which were collected under strict and stringent conditions.

6. Finally, the IAAF has been using the pre-2009 blood data to conduct a prevalence study which was subsequently published (in 2011). It allowed the IAAF to identify the countries where there was a high-risk of doping and to adjust its doping control programme accordingly.

A copy of video and English transcript of the WDR documentary will be sent directly to independent IAAF Ethics Commission who are already investigating this matter. Any information that shows a breach of our anti-doping rules will be added to the separate investigation that has been opened following part 1 of the ARD documentary.


The IAAF is also aware of a story published in The Guardian online today (9 December 2014) in which a number of serious allegations have been made regarding Papa Massata Diack. Although Mr Diack has reserved the right to respond as a private individual, since Mr Diack is a consultant for marketing matters for IAAF we would, nonetheless, like to clarify a number of points.

The allegations in the newspaper relate to the bid in 2011 by Doha, Qatar, to host the IAAF World Championships 2017.  On 11 November 2011, Doha lost that bid process to London by a vote of the IAAF Council. The vote was 10 to 16.

The Guardian makes reference to emails and documents which the IAAF has not seen, and these documents and any complaints should be sent to the independent IAAF Ethics Commission which has full powers to investigate and issue sanctions if necessary.

The IAAF firmly believes that the Ethics Commission is the correct platform for any complaints and urges any members of the athletics family to contact this body directly.