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Allegations of doping in athletics need public scrutiny - minister


Michael Ring

Michael Ring

Michael Ring

Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he is "very concerned" about allegations of doping in Irish athletics.

Mr Donohoe said he would be liaising with the Irish Sports Council about the allegations, which were raised over the weekend. It has been alleged that 3pc of Irish athletes tested for banned substances came back with suspicious results.

The claims were made in a leaked database published by a British newspaper.

Speaking for the first time on the allegations, Mr Donohoe said all the information available should be put into the public domain, so it can be tested by the relevant authorities.

"It should be scrutinised by the public and anyone who is involved in sport.

"I believe any measures that are taken by any athlete at all to improve their performance and allow them to win major sporting competitions are unacceptable," he said.

He added: "Parts of sport have already been hugely tarnished by the magnitude of cheating that did take place. And allegations that are now pointing to that type of behaviour taking place in athletics are of course of great concern, but it is something that Irish sport and the Irish Sports Council already take very seriously."

Junior Sports Minister Michael Ring also insisted that cheats would be "weeded out".

It has been claimed that a third of Olympic and World Championship medals were won by athletes who provided suspicious blood samples.

This included a total of 55 gold medals that were awarded for endurance events.

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