MONACO (AP) IAAF President Lamine Diack has criticized the World Anti-Doping Agency for what he called a "ridiculous" campaign against Jamaica and Kenya after the two athletics powerhouses were placed under scrutiny over anti-doping procedures.
Speaking at the presentation of the annual athletics awards ceremony this weekend, Diack said track and field is among the sports leading the fight against doping and should not be stigmatized.
WADA conducted an extraordinary audit of Jamaica's anti-doping commission this month while Kenya has set up a government inquiry into allegations of widespread doping at its high-altitude training bases.
"They are the most tested countries in the world. All this is ridiculous," Diack said. "It is like WADA is making a campaign trying to make a statement. They went to Jamaica, what did they find? Nothing."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were named world athletes of the year in Monaco. Bolt received the IAAF award for the fifth time. He won the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay at the world championships in Moscow last month and also won the same three races at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and 2009 worlds. Fraser-Pryce earned the award for the first time by regaining the 100 title at the worlds and anchoring the victorious 4x100 women's relay. She also had the year's best 200 time.
Jamaica's anti-doping program was audited after a former Jamaica director alleged it didn't drug-test its athletes for months before they dazzled at the London Games. The ex-director, Renee Anne Shirley, indicated a near-complete breakdown in the agency's out-of-competition testing from January 2012 until the Olympics in August.
"They have found and suspended some athletes which is positive and a good move," Diack said. "We must stop all these. We are doing our best in athletics. You rarely hear of four-year suspensions in football but they have doping concerns too."
Bolt said he lost a potential sponsorship deal because of the doping controversy surrounding Jamaica. He did not name the sponsor but claimed that it decided against an endorsement deal after reading media reports that the country could be ineligible for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"It is a problem because a sponsor came up to me and an agency advised them that they should not work with me," Bolt said. "There is a lot of things going on with this drug thing that I feel needs to be corrected and clarified because it is causing a lot of problems for me and my sport. We need to get everything sorted up because for me it's really costing me money now and I am not too happy about it."