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The IAAF has noted today’s article in The Sunday Times claiming yet another ‘sensational’ revelation, this time concerning the alleged results of a study which was carried out at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea. This is not a new story, having first been raised on German TV in 2013, and those concerns were addressed by the IAAF at the time.
The study in question was a social science based survey conducted by WADA and a team of researchers at the Athletes’ village in Daegu. The purpose of the study was to assess the reliability of potential new methods of evaluating the prevalence of doping in sport using more of a social science approach (randomised-response survey). The survey was intended to be extended to multi-sport events and no publication was ever evoked. In fact, the survey was only ever repeated once, with a revised methodology, at the Pan-Arabic Games where mainly athletes were interviewed.
The IAAF was therefore surprised when it was informed in early 2013 that an article had already been submitted by the research team for publication in a scientific journal without the IAAF’s knowledge. The IAAF understands that the article was rejected for publication.
• The IAAF has never vetoed publication of this article. The IAAF is extremely surprised to see WADA quoted on Friday as saying that the IAAF has a right of veto (if the quote used by the Sunday Times is in fact accurate. The quote in the article attributed from yesterday to the IAAF was never made).
• The IAAF does however have serious reservations as to the interpretation of the results made by the research group as confirmed by high-profile experts in social science who reviewed the publication on our request. The IAAF submitted those concerns to the research group but has never heard back from them.
• The IAAF understands that the article in question was submitted for publication but it was rejected.
• The IAAF is surprised that any professional team of social science researchers should choose consistently to leak research material through the media before it is published.
• The IAAF is continuing the prevalence study started in 2011 based on reliable, analytical results derived from the Athlete Biological Passport programme. It is a priority for us and we aim at finalising an article for scientific publication, in coordination with WADA.
• The IAAF is the only sport federation to have conducted a prevalence study to date and we encourage other sports to do the same.