Clean sport received a tremendous boost this week in Korea, as the 202 national teams and the 1945 athletes they represent, who are competing at the IAAF World Championships, Daegu, Korea, which begin here today, gave their full support to IAAF’s unprecedented anti-doping campaign.
The IAAF announced on 11 August that it would be seeking to take blood samples of ALL athletes participating in Daegu 2011, and having contacted all Member Federations a month before the championships have been overwhelmed by the warm response that the initiative has received.
In the friendly, welcoming environment of the Athletes’ Village’s Sarbi Centre, which is named after the Championships’ Mascot, and house the competitions medical and anti-doping operations, athletes have been voluntarily coming to give blood.
The flow of athletes has been so strong that on the eve of the championships more than 1400 have come forward in a welcome sign of cooperation, which represents some 75% of the total entry list in Daegu 2011.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the athletes have been ‘eager’ to provide their blood, with many happy Daegu entrants confirming that they wanted to send a clear message to their peers that they had nothing to hide.
The programme of blood collection and analysis is at the core of the IAAF’s development of an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). Blood samples in Daegu are being collected with the full cooperation of the Local Organising Committee and KADA (the Korean Anti-Doping Agency), and is in addition to the usual in-competition testing of over 500 urine and blood samples which are always made at an IAAF World Championships.