World Anti-Doping Agency to Investigate Track Doping Allegations

  • German broadcaster ARD and Sunday Times obtained test database
  • Leak included 12,000 tests of track athletes from 2001-12

The World Anti-Doping Agency will investigate more than a decade’s worth of track-and-field drug tests after U.K. and German news organizations alleged widespread doping within the sport.

German broadcaster ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times gained access to a database containing 12,000 blood tests of 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012. ARD released the documentary “Doping -- Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics, ” on Aug. 1.

Among the alleged findings were that more than 800 athletes had recorded blood tests described by an expert as “highly suggestive of doping, or at the very least abnormal,” and that a third of Olympic and world championship medals in endurance events during that time period were won by athletes who had suspicious test results.

The International Association of Athletics Federations, which said in an Aug. 4 statement that the allegations were sensationalized and did not prove any doping occurred, said Friday that it welcomed WADA’s investigation and has agreed to participate in the inquiry.

Lausanne, Switzerland-based WADA’s independent commission, led by former President Dick Pound, was created following an ARD documentary about doping in Russia. The commission investigates the validity of doping allegations, corrupt practices around sample collection and results management.

“I ask that any athlete, or anti-doping organization, concerned that their rights are being eroded or inappropriately challenged refer those concerns to the commission, which intends to commence its work immediately,” WADA President Craig Reedie said in a statement.

Reedie said the anti-doping organization “deplores the manner in which this data was obtained, leaked to the media and analyzed,” and that it is potentially libelous to “imply doping with respect to any athlete whose data is contained within the database.”

The commission is tentatively scheduled to deliver a report on its findings by the end of the year.