Credibility of athletics intact, says Diack

The credibility of athletics remained very much intact despite the growing concerns on doping, the chief of the sport’s world governing body said on Friday.

Lamine Diack, the outgoing president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, dismissed as “sensational journalism” the charge that his body did not act on doping cases during the 2001-2012 period.

Diack, addressing a joint-press conference with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, said these charges did not even deserve an answer.

“I don’t think the credibility of athletics is lost. The IAAF has been at the forefront of the fight against doping. It is ridiculous to say that IAAF did not take action and hid test results,” he said.

Asked whether he believed the sport was free of problems, he said, “Life is full of problems, we are all trying to solve problems, it is nothing new, we are working on it.”

Bach said he wouldn’t draw any quick conclusions from the doping allegations. “We are in touch with the IAAF from the start on these charges and we are open to discussions at various levels. The statement from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also has been very clear – till 2009, when the Athlete Biological Passport programme was introduced, none of the test results could be used as a proof of doping,” Bach said and added that he would wait for the result of the independent commission set up by WADA before commenting further.

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