News11 Aug 2009

Berlin to host largest ever IAAF anti-doping operation


Berlin 2009 logo (© c)

The 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics to be held in Berlin, Germany will be subject to the most comprehensive Anti-Doping Programme ever conducted by the IAAF - including both drug testing and educational activities.  More than 1000 samples will be collected, both before and during the competition in Germany.

Approximately 600 blood samples will be taken in Berlin prior to the championships and another 400 blood and urine samples taken during the competition itself with all samples being sent to the Cologne and Dresden WADA accredited laboratories.

IAAF President Lamine Diack also highlighted that the Championships were a chance to recognise the clean athletes.

“I would like to turn our attention back to the huge majority of honest athletes who will arrive at these championships and compete based on their own skill and years of hard work and sacrifice.  All this anti-doping work is done to protect them, and so that in Berlin we can join together and celebrate their achievements”.

“However for those athletes who still consider that they need to cheat to succeed both blood and urine samples collected from this event will be analysed and even stored by the IAAF for future analysis should new prohibited substances or methods become detectable”.

“Athletes should be well aware that not only do we have the possibility to store samples, but that already in the past year the IAAF has prosecuted several cases based on re-analysed samples.  If they think they can turn up to our championships with an undetectable drug and get away with it, then they may be in for a shock, and our recent prosecutions prove this”.

The majority of blood samples taken from these championships will also form part of the IAAF biological passport programme and be added to the individual profiles of each athlete.  The IAAF has been collecting samples as part of this passport programme from selected athletes since January 2009.

The World Championships in Berlin are not all about testing, with the important aspect of education also present in Berlin via the IAAF Athlete Outreach Programme and the implementation of an IAAF interactive online education programme called “Real winner”.  IAAF staff will be onsite in Berlin to answer any athletes questions and both education programmes aim to raise athlete awareness of the important anti-doping issues.

To help ensure that both the testing and education programmes are a success, the IAAF has been working closely with the German Athletics Federation (DLV) who are one of the IAAF’s leading federations when it comes to their strong anti-doping commitments.  DLV staff will be heavily involved in both the testing and education activities for the duration of the Championships and the IAAF  believes this cooperation will result in a world class doping control programme for Berlin 2009.