â€œIt is a declaration of war on my sport,â€ Coe, an IAAF vice president, told the AP. â€œI take pretty grave exception to that. This, for me, is a fairly seminal moment. There is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug-testing that warrants this kind of attack. We should not be cowering. We should come out fighting.â€
Just weeks before the world championships in Beijing, the sport was thrown into turmoil after German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain alleged that blood doping was rampant, citing test results from an International Association of Athletics Federations database that were leaked by a whistleblower.
â€œNobody should underestimate the anger at the way our sport has been portrayed,â€ said Coe, who is a candidate for IAAF president in elections later this month. â€œThe fightback has to start here. We cannot be portrayed as a sport that is in any way dragging our heels.â€
...Coe said the IAAF has been at the forefront of blood screening and out-of-competition testing for years.
â€œWe will not bend a knee to any other sport in the way weâ€™ve led the way on this,â€ he said, noting that, since 2011, the IAAF has pursued 63 cases based on the biological passport program, with 39 athletes sanctioned so far.