image of International Association of Athletics Federations
President Lamine Diack speaking is shown above International
Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, center, and others
on the stage during the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. Three weeks before the world
championships, athletics was thrown into turmoil by new
accusations of widespread doping and experts denouncing an
anti-doping system compromised by leniency. German
broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain
said they obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood
tests from 5,000 athletes. The files came from the database
of the IAAF and were leaked by a whistleblower, according to
the reports. The IAAF said it was aware of "serious
allegations made against the integrity and competence of its
PARIS — With
his federation embattled by widespread doping allegations that
could lead to a reshuffle of Olympic and world championship
podiums for more than a decade, IAAF president Lamine Diack
defended his organization's anti-doping record and dismissed the
accusations as a "joke" on Monday.
Diack, who will
be stepping down later this month after 15 years at the helm of
the International Association of Athletics Federations, also
questioned the timing of the reports, which came out three weeks
before the track and field world championships in Beijing, which
run from Aug. 22-30.
playing with the idea of a redistribution of medals," Diack
said at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Kuala
Lumpur. "It's possible, if we prove with the new techniques
at our disposal that someone doped. Otherwise, it's a joke. Just
three weeks before the world championships, there is something
Diack spoke after
German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain
said they obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests
involving 5,000 athletes. The leaked files came from the database
of the IAAF.
The report found
that 146 medals — including 55 golds — in disciplines ranging
from the 800 meters to the marathon at the Olympics and world
championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious
The Sunday Times
said that 10 medals at the 2012 London Olympics were won by
athletes with suspicious results, and that in some finals every
athlete in the medal positions had recorded a dubious blood test.
"There is a
film and a newspaper who are asking questions," said Diack.
"We are going to answer them all. But it's not (just) because
someone has a suspicious profile once that he was doped. When
people say that there are medals to be redistributed from 2001 to
2012, it's just a farce."
The IOC has
previously stripped medals from athletes who have been
retroactively found guilty of doping offenses dating back to the
time of the games. The IOC also stores Olympic doping samples for
10 years for possible retesting.
Thomas Bach said it is up to the World Anti-Doping Agency to
investigate the allegations, including that one-third of medals in
endurance races at the Olympics and world championships from 2001
to 2012 were won by athletes who recorded suspicious blood tests.
should be cases involving results at Olympic Games, the IOC will
react with zero tolerance with our usual policy," Bach said.
"But at this time, we have nothing more than allegations. We
have to respect the presumption of innocence of the
Diack, who also
suggested that the allegations were timed to overshadow the IAAF
presidential election on Aug. 19 that will pit Sebastian Coe
against Sergei Bubka, did not specify which countries could be
interested in a redistribution of medals.
appeared to leave former WADA President Dick Pound perplexed.
sure what he meant. Whether he's worried about it's too long, too
late to do some of those or who knows," said Pound, who is
heading a WADA commission investigating earlier allegations of
widespread doping and cover-ups in Russia, particularly in track
scientist Robin Parisotto, who reviewed the data obtained by the
media outlets from the period covering 2001 to 2012 with blood
doping expert Michael Ashenden, has been critical of IAAF, saying
many athletes appeared to have doped with impunity.
Diack denied any
wrongdoing by his federation, claiming that the IAAF "has
done everything for doping control" over that specific
"No one has
been destabilized, we are stronger than that," he said.
"Everything that has been done in the fight against doping
has been made by IAAF."
The reports also
alleged that more than 80 of Russia's medals were won by athletes
with suspicious tests, while Kenya had 18 medals won by suspicious
athletes. ARD said it has evidence of human growth hormone being
used by Russian runners.
athletics federation said it was "disturbed by the
seriousness of the allegations."