IAAF denies blocking study that showed one in three athletes admitted doping
Published 16/08/2015 | 12:45
Allegations that the International Association of Athletics Federations blocked the publication of a study showing widespread doping among athletes at the 2011 World Championships have been denied by the world governing body.
The Sunday Times said the IAAF vetoed a survey showing up to a third of top athletes at the championships in South Korea confessed to using banned performance-enhancing techniques in the previous 12 months.
It is the latest doping allegation to hit the governing body, which has come under attack amid allegations - which it strongly contests - that it is not doing enough to clean up the sport.
"The IAAF has never vetoed publication of this article," it said in a statement on Sunday.
The IAAF said the study was a "social science based survey" conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency and a team of researchers at the athletes' village at the Daegu World Championships.
The IAAF, which said it answered concerns about the study when it was raised on a German television programme in 2013, claimed the article was rejected for publication by a scientific journal, having been submitted without its knowledge.
It also revealed it had "serious reservations" over the interpretation of the results received in the survey which were confirmed by "high-profile experts in social science" who reviewed the article for it.
"The IAAF submitted those concerns to the research group, but has never heard back from them," the governing body said.
The IAAF said: "The purpose of the study was to assess the reliability of potential new methods of evaluating the prevalence of doping in sport using more of a social science approach (randomised-response survey).
"The survey was intended to be extended to multi-sport events and no publication was ever evoked. In fact, the survey was only ever repeated once, with a revised methodology, at the Pan-Arabic Games where mainly athletes were interviewed."