Friday 23 March 2018

Coe backs use of TUEs - but demands vigilance

Sebastian Coe. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Sebastian Coe. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Seb Coe has defended 'therapeutic use exemptions' (TUEs) for athletes while insisting they must be policed vigilantly.

TUEs can be issued to athletes who have an illness or condition which requires the use of medication which is on World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

Their use has become a huge talking point after the WADA website was hacked by a cyber terrorist group called the Fancy Bears. Rio gold medallists Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Nicola Adams were among several British athletes named as having TUEs, as well as three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

International Association of Athletics Federations president Coe said: "I think the TUEs system is a good system.

"Do we have to make sure that it is not being abused? Yes, of course. There is potential for that (exploitation), but I don't think it is commonly the case.

"Can the public have trust in it? Yes, I think they can, but it will need permanent vigilance."

Coe said the IAAF impose a "very deep process" before TUEs are granted to athletes and their numbers in the sport had actually fallen in recent years.

"We are very tough. We log everything with WADA and, when a TUE is appropriate, they can come back and ask us for more information," said Coe.

"TUEs are only given on the basis of an independent panel, it is not a general practitioner signing them off".

Coe, an asthma sufferer himself, insists the medical information of athletes should be protected. "Athletes are prone to the same medical disorders as anyone else," said Coe. "They have the right to the same types of privacy that we all have around our private medical information."

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