World athletics boss Sebastian Coe admitted today that reports from the World Anti-Doping Agency alleging serious drug testing failings at the Rio Olympics made for “uncomfortable reading”. But speaking in Qatar — where he received backing from the heads of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) for his IAAF reform agenda, including drug testing changes — Coe said it was right the failings were made public.
“The only thing I would say is I welcome reports like that, sometimes they are uncomfortable reading, but I would rather have those sorts of observations,” said the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Although Coe added that he had not seen the report himself yet, the former middle-distance runner said such “intelligence” was vital so athletics can catch drug cheats.
The report, by independent observers sent to the Games by WADA and published on Thursday, uncovered “serious logistical failings” in Olympics’ anti-doping efforts.
It found cases where athletes targeted for testing “could not be found”, and a lack of adequately trained anti-doping personnel.
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Coe is pushing for an independent drugs testing regime as part of his overhaul of world athletics at an IAAF extraordinary congress on December 3.
His plans were publicly supported by the head of the AAA, Dahlan Al-Hamad, on Friday.
“We are fully supportive of the president,” said Al-Hamad.
“There are some issues which we will first discuss, I am sure that these issues will be resolved.”