October 20th, 2016

Leamington event focus of athletics doping scandal

Leamington event focus of athletics doping scandal Leamington event focus of athletics doping scandal
Updated: 3:52 pm, Aug 07, 2015

THE DOPING scandal which has rocked the athletics world extends to a high profile race walking event held in Leamington.

The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes between 2001 and 2012.

And it has been claimed the evidence reveals the “extraordinary extent of cheating” by athletes at the world’s biggest events including the Olympics and World Championships.

Among the events which have raised suspicion of doping is the European Race Walking Cup held in Leamington’s Victoria Park in May 2007.

Getting such a high profile event was hailed as a major coup for Leamington and it was hoped it could put the town on the world race walking map.

The event held on a fine spring Sunday drew the top race walkers from across Europe and included races for juniors and seniors extending from 10km to 50km.

But in the German documentary, called Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics, a data stick is produced showing blood results of athletes suspected of doping – and in a close up shot Leamington (GBR) and the date 17/05/07 is clearly visible.

It suggests athletes highly suspected of doping were taking part in the event.

Earlier this year Russian race walker Vladimir Kanaykin – who took gold in the men’s 50km walk at Victoria Park – was banned for life after being found guilty of doping during races in 2011.

The test files belonging to world governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were leaked to the Sunday Times and ARD/WDR by a whistle-blower.

The data suggests a third of medals – 146 in total including 55 golds – in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who had recorded suspicious tests. – although none had been stripped of their medals.

The files show ten medals at London 2012 were won by athletes who have dubious test results – although stars such as Mo Farah and Usain Bolt recorded no abnormal results.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) says it is “very alarmed” at the allegations of suspected doping.