Athletics

Lamine Diack: Athletes '99 per cent clean'

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Football News
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Athletics may be awash with doping allegations, but the outgoing head of the sport's governing body, Lamine Diack, insists it is "99 per cent" clean.

The biennial World Championships get under way on Saturday in Beijing, where the build-up is being dominated by the spate of worrying reports about drug use.

It is the biggest challenge that faces Lord Coe as prepares to take over as International Association of Athletics Federations president from long-serving Diack at the end of the event.

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The Senegalese is looking forward to the focus turning to the sport itself and downplayed the depth of problems facing the sport.

"We do 3,000 tests a year," Diack said in Beijing. "I have 200 tests positive and 2,800 that are negative. You focus on the bad news, that is the 200 positive tests.

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"We have no lessons to be taught by any other sport. We do what we have to do and we were doing it long before the others.

"We will continue to do our job like we've always done. It's not because there is lots of fuss around this now, we will continue to do the job in the field as we've always done it.

"The next president has a very clear policy of zero tolerance.

"We can't afford to have our performances being in doubt. If there is any doubt, that's the end of it. But we are convinced 99 per cent of our athletes are clean."

That number would appear to fly in the face of recent allegations, which Coe addressed after his election as IAAF president on Wednesday.

"He is big enough and strong enough to face up to these allegations and these problems and to show that these wrong accusations are wrong accusations," Diack said.

"He loves this sport. He will do a great job, he knows much more about sport than I do myself being an Olympic champion and world record holder."

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Topics:
Athletics
Commonwealth Games

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