Lausanne, Dec 23 : World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said that the organisation will go into the Tokyo Olympics with an anti-doping system that will be “better” than any other international federation (IF). Coe said that the formation of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent unit that was formed in 2017 by World Athletics to fight doping in the sport, has been integral in the reforms that the organisation undertook to fight the menace.
“I feel that I will be taking World Athletics as a federation to Tokyo with better systems in place than any other federation. I’m proud to be able to say that. And what I can say is if athletes do cheat there is a greater chance of them being caught in Tokyo than probably any previous Games,” Coe was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
The AIU has served out punishments to several high profile athletes, including 100m world champion Chris Coleman after he missed three drug tests.
“The AIU was a centrepiece in the reforms and that’s exactly why I pushed for that independent, dispassionate organisation that could remove the decision making from any undue political interference,” he said. “I like to think that it has shown the athletes that we’re not respecters or fearful of reputation. Where there is an infraction we’re not fearful of sitting there going: ‘Oh well that’s quite a big name.’
“The AIU is not always going to be on everybody’s Christmas card list, nor should they be. But I do think that it has restored some confidence among the athletes that we’ve got an organisation out there that will fearlessly and ruthlessly weed out the cheats when and where they surface.”
Coleman’s suspension was on the basis of his violation of the whereabouts requirement, which the sprinter and several others have said is too harsh and confusing. Coe, however, insisted that the system is not ambiguous at all.
“It’s clear, it’s not ambiguous, it’s not arcane maritime law. You’re asked to be in a particular place for a certain period, it’s one hour. Anybody complaining about not being able to master that technology seems to be updating Instagram pages by the hour,” said Coe.
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