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Rio Olympics

Anti-doping agency slams Rio Olympics drug testing

IAAF president Sebastian Coe
IAAF president Sebastian Coe Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Anti-doping efforts were seriously compromised at this summer’s Rio Olympic Games, according to a report published on Thursday by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

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Of the roughly 11,000 athletes that competed in the Rio Olympic Games, nearly one-third had no record of testing in 2016.

The 55-page report cites cases where athletes who had been targeted for testing simply “could not be found” in the athletes' village. This made it difficult to meet daily targets for out-of-competition blood testing.

There was also little in-competition testing, even in high-risk sports such as weightlifting.

The report describes how athletes’ chaperones were often denied access to competition venues and therefore unable to take athletes through testing procedures.

The report claims that some chaperones were "disincentivised", as they had poor travel arrangements and spoke little English.

Anti-doping efforts were further undermined by inadequately trained personnel.

World athletics boss welcomes report

Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said the Wada report made for "uncomfortable reading".

However, he supports the fact that the report was made public.

"The only thing I would say is I welcome reports like that,” admitted Coe. “Sometimes they are uncomfortable reading but I would rather have those sorts of observations."

Coe is pushing to establish an independent testing regime as part of his plan to reform world athletics. He is expected to present his proposals in December at an IAAF extraordinary congress.

The head of the Asian Athletics Association, Dahlan Al-Hamad, declared he was "fully supportive" of Coe.

"There are some issues which we will first discuss, I am sure that these issues will be resolved," he said in Qatar on Friday.

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