Sky Sports News reveals huge holes in anti-doping programmes leading up the London Olympics
Last Updated: 10/09/13 8:25am
Too many athletes arrived at the Olympic Stadium having not been tested for EPO
Sky Sports News has examined drug testing by sports governing bodies and can reveal huge holes in international sports anti-doping programmes leading up to the London Olympic Games.
In the year 2011 when most athletes were preparing for the Olympics, testing levels in some sports were often shockingly low and sometimes blood, out-of-competition and EPO testing were non-existent.
Assessing the figures for each international sports governing body Sky Sports News discovered that the International Amateur Boxing Association had no figures for tests in 2011 at all. When asked if they conducted no tests they said they simply had no figures for tests and would not confirm if any tests took place.
A spokesperson from AIBA said: "2012 has been a pretty complicated year for AIBA Sports Department, having to face a complete restructuring which resulted in a lack of resources for Anti-Doping.
"Still, AIBA has conducted in-competition urine tests and has even sanctioned a few boxers which were positive. At the beginning of 2013, AIBA has doubled its budget to fight against doping and organize out-of-competition tests.
"AIBA regrets that these tests are very expensive but is fully committed to eradicate all kind of doping from the sport of boxing, in the limits of the budget of a small international federation."
In tennis we found that Venus and Serena Williams were not tested by the International Tennis Federation at all out of competition for that year. Neither US Anti-Doping (USADA) nor the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would confirm whether or not they had tested them in that year.
However their agent Carlos Fleming said: "They are regularly tested in and out of competition by USADA and WADA as well as other organisations. The Olympics anti-doping program is among the most comprehensive in sports."
The International Tennis Federation told us they did approximately 100 EPO tests in that year however, figures published by the World Anti-Doping Agency show that just one of those was a blood test.
Dr Stuart Millar, Executive Director for Science and Technical for the International Tennis Federation said: "Since 2011, we have increased the amount of blood testing that we do and we are also increasing the amount of out of competition testing.
"We have also introduced the athlete biological passport, which is where you collect a series of blood samples from athletes and you monitor various markers within that blood to see if the variation in those markers is indicative of doping."
We also found that athletes from sailing, golf and curling had no blood tests from their governing bodies in 2011. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) started conducting blood and EPO testing in 2012. Golf still does not test for blood but have revealed they are now considering it.
Andy Parkinson, the Chief Executive of UK Anti-Doping said: "The traditional use of EPO testing was much more in the domain of endurance athletes like runners and cyclists. Most sports rely on endurance and stamina so there needs to be more and that needs to be built into testing programmes around the world."
Sport governing bodies may be falling short in terms of drug testing but this does not mean an athlete has not been tested as an athlete can also be tested by a national anti-doping agency or by WADA.
However last week it was shown that not every country takes the same approach to doping control.
After Asafa Powell and four other Jamaican athletes tested positive, Renee Anne Shirley, the former Executive Director of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Authority (JADCO) revealed that in 2011 JADCO carried out just one out of competition test on athletes.
She said: "It's not that our athletes went into the Olympics without any sort of no out of competition testing. It's that position I'm taking that JADCO did not conduct out of competition testing. In context, they say they did not have the testing kits but I'm saying it is a fact we didn't do it."