Athletics

World Athletics chief: No chance of drug cheats slipping through

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe warned would-be dopers that the coronavirus pandemic and widespread suspension of events will not shelter them.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed until next year and several other events needing to be rescheduled, athletes will face much less testing.

However, Coe told Reuters in an interview that there was no chance of drug cheats slipping through the net.

"In reality, of course, there isn't much in the way of competition testing because frankly we've lost most of the competitions," said Coe.

"The only advice I would give every athlete is: Don't play roulette with the concept that intelligent testing is going to do anything other than track you down.

"Some years ago we moved away from the concept that it's just about numbers.

"The Athletics Integrity Unit is at the top of its game. No athlete should be seduced into thinking this is some sort of moratorium on our fight against drugs."

The question of whether athletes who had already qualified for the Olympics will have to do so again will also come under the microscope in the coming weeks, with 57 per cent of 11,000 or so athletes having booked their spots.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not clarified whether these places are assured, although the Australian Olympic Committee said yesterday that its qualified athletes can compete in the delayed Games.

"We have to be really clear that qualification will be an issue for athletes, our internal teams have looked at that," said Coe. - REUTERS

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