WADA hopes to get doping report by mid-November

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 15, 2015 8:12 AM

By Mikael Nilsson

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency is hoping to receive the much-awaited report on allegations of widespread doping in sport before its board meeting in mid-November, WADA Director General David Howman said on Tuesday.

The report of the independent commission, appointed by the agency and headed by former WADA chief Dick Pound, into claims made by German television regarding doping involving mostly Russian and Kenyan athletes had been initially expected this month.

But it has since been combined with fresh allegations in August that hundreds of suspicious drugs tests had not been followed up by world athletics body IAAF.

"We gave a mandate to the independent commission and asked them if they would complete their work, their investigation and file their report with us before the end of this year," Howman told Reuters Television in an interview.

"We hope they can do it well prior to the end of the year because we have a board meeting in mid-November and we would certainly like our board members to be able to discuss that report at that occasion."

The allegations made by German broadcaster ARD and the Sunday Times newspaper shook the world of athletics with the IAAF coming under fire for allegedly not following up suspicious test results from more than 800 athletes -- including dozens of Olympic and world champions -- between 2001 and 2012.

"Well I think you can say that because at the present there is a controversy which involves athletics," Howman said when asked if athletics was now succeeding cycling as a major doping offender in world sport.

"I think it would be unfair to concentrate on any one sport. It's probably better if we said look there are problems out there in sport, there are issues that we need to address with the various sports and we're doing that.

"At the present athletics is in the limelight. Athletics is the sport which needs some assistance and we're going to give them that assistance after we receive this report."

Among the athletes now viewed with greater suspicion are also the Kenyans, who topped the medal table at last month's world athletics championships in Beijing.

There have been claims of extensive doping among the African country's athletes while testers have been accused of tipping them off ahead of unannounced drugs tests.

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"They need a lot of help in Kenya. It's not just Kenya, there is Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and a few others who form part of a regional anti-doping organization which we assist in the funding of and assist in the work," Howman said.

Two Kenyan athletes were suspended for anti-doping rule violations in Beijing with the country's athletics federation pledging to fully cooperate with the IAAF.

"What we're trying to do with Kenya in particular, however, is develop their national program," Howman said.

"It's difficult because the government money in the country is very hard to get hold of so we're in process if you like of trying to make sure they are alert to the major issues of the world is focusing on and that they do respond themselves.

"We can't do their work so we need that positive response from the Kenyan government."

(Reporting by Reuters Television, Writing by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)