Doping allegations concerning three of the
world's most famous sprinters enhance the "credibility" of the
sport's anti-doping programme, a spokesman for the sport's governing
body said Monday.
"The credibility of our anti-doping programme, and the sport of athletics, is enhanced, not diminished, each time we are able to uncover a new case," the International Association of Athletics Federations' Nick Davies said in a statement.
The track and field world faces its biggest scandal in years following the admissions Sunday that American Tyson Gay had failed a May 16 test for an unspecified substance and that Jamaican Olympic gold medallists Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, along with three others, had tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrin.
The revelations will affect next month's world championships in Moscow, where a showdown between the world's fastest and second-fastest men, Usain Bolt and Gay, had been expected. Gay has already said he will not compete in that event.
Davies said his organization was ethically bound to take action against doping cases.
"We have the committed support of every athlete, coach or official who believes in clean sport," he said.
But renowned German doping expert Fritz Soergel said the affair had tarnished the sport.
"Track and field and cycling have no credibility. For me, practically all track disciplines are under suspicion. Top performance of this kind is practically impossible without doping," Soergel told dpa.
In Italy, meanwhile, police carried out an overnight search of the rooms of a hotel in Lignano Sabbiadoro, a coast town in the north east, where Powell and Simpson were staying with other Jamaican athletes.
Police seized suspect medicines and nutritional supplements, but did not arrest Powell's coach, according to Italian media reports.
The Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner had earlier reported that the coach had been arrested in Italy.
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