Coe insists athletics ‘ostensibly clean sport’
Athletics remains an ostensibly clean sport, incoming IAAF president Sebastian Coe insisted on Sunday at the climax of the world championships in Beijing.
Only two positive cases, both Kenyans, have been reported at the worlds in the Chinese capital, but the IAAF found itself mired in allegations of doping in the build-up to the championships. Media reports claimed that data from 12,000 blood tests between 2001 and 2012 had revealed an “extraordinary extent of cheating” and that more than 50 Olympic and world gold medals during that period could be tainted by drug use.
The allegations by the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD triggered lurid headlines likening athletics to cycling, whose dark history of doping scandals culminated in disgraced American Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
After beating Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergey Bubka in a vote to succeed Lamine Diack as president of the IAAF, Coe vowed zero tolerance for drug cheats after previously blasting media revelations as a “declaration of war”.