Coe vows to step up fight against drug cheats

IAAF vice president determined to eradicate doping from athletics.

Agencies July 16, 2013
"It is important for any athlete to know that if they want to risk cheating that they are going to get caught," says Sebastian Coe. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Sebastian Coe insists athletics chiefs will intensify the war against drugs cheats in the aftermath of the positive tests for Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell.

It was revealed on Sunday that America’s Gay, the fastest man in the world this year, and Jamaica’s former world record holder Powell had both tested positive for banned substances.

It is not known which substance Gay took, although that should be confirmed after his B sample is analysed.

Powell, who has run 9.88secs this year but failed to make the Jamaican team for next month’s World Championships, was tested at the national trials in June and returned an adverse finding for oxilofrine, a stimulant that boosts fat-burning.

Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medallist, has also tested positive.

And Coe, Vice President of the international athletics federation IAAF and Chairman of the British Olympic Association, is determined to ensure the sport clamps down on doping.

“The most important thing for me is that the testing system is working and for the sake of clean athletes it is very important we do not flinch in our efforts,” he said.

“This is not a war we can afford to lose, and it is important for any athlete to know that if they want to risk cheating that they are going to get caught.

“Of course we would rather not wake up to the headlines that we have done today but we have taken a tough stance on doping and will continue to do so.

“We would rather have the short-term embarrassment from the sorts of stories we have today rather than a decline in the sport to a position where no one has any trust in the athletes. That’s what we are fighting for.

“We are still waiting for the B samples and as Vice President of the IAAF it is very important we go through this process in a proper way to really understand what we are dealing with.

“But the message is getting through and we are not taking our foot off the pedal.”

Randall third Jamaican to admit positive dope test

Olympic discus thrower Allison Randall became the third athlete to confirm a positive drugs test from the Jamaican trials in June.

Randall acknowledged receipt of the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission’s notification of her adverse finding for a banned diuretic but, like Powell and Simpson, denied knowingly taking a performance-enhancing substance.

“I am willing to undergo any other testing methods to prove my innocence,” said Randall. “I love throwing the discus for my country and I hope this incident clears up after my ‘B’ sample has been tested.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.

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