Act over drugs or fans will turn off, sport chiefs told
The Times
04 August 2015

Act over drugs or fans will turn off, sport chiefs told

The man who led the fight to bring down Lance Armstrong yesterday called on athletics to save itself from ruin by establishing an independent dope-testing body to weed out cheats.

Travis Tygart made his appeal after the release of thousands of files appearing to show widespread blood manipulation in athletics over a 12-year period.

In 2012 Mr Tygart, said that the IAAF, the world athletics governing body, was now suffering a similar fate to cycling, having in his view failed to separate its desire for clean sport from its commercial interests.

Perhaps even more worrying for the IAAF was the claim by a leading sports lawyer that the data released so far may show just a fraction of the cheating that has really been going on in athletics.

Edward Carder, an anti-doping expert at Mishcon de Reya, said that athletes could still evade showing "abnormal" blood values by "micro-dosing" units of EPO, the hormone that stimulates red blood cell production in the body, enabling people to train harder for longer. Incremental increases in an athlete's red blood cell count would not register as abnormal.

"The issue of doping shows no sign of going away," Mr Carder said.

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