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Hansen: prioritise anti-doping fight


European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen has called on the new IAAF President and Council to put anti-doping efforts at the top of their agenda for the next four years.

Elections for the presidency and other council positions will be held during Wednesday’s IAAF Congress in Beijing.

Speaking after the traditional pre-Congress Area meeting, President Hansen said that leaders of Europe’s 50 Member Federations had given him strong positive feedback on two statements he released after the recent documentary broadcast on the German ARD/WRD network and articles published by the Sunday Times, which contained serious allegations about doping in athletics.

Anti-doping priority

“It is clear our members feel there needs to be more proactive communication from the IAAF. They also say that if there is anything more our sport can do to get a handle on this issue it should be done as soon as possible.”

In recent weeks Hansen announced that European Athletics would be expanding its own anti-doping education programme for young athletes and looking into developing a license system to ensure only athletes who have gone through the programme are eligible for its championship events.

“Doping in sport is a complex challenge and I think we need to expand the fight and our dialogue beyond new rules and the number of doping control tests carried out. These things are certainly important, but when the spotlight is turned on our sport we can see they are not enough,” he said.

“More and better anti-doping education is one thing, but I think we should also look at the structure and programmes of the fight against doping in each country to understand how serious they are and the resources they have available. Then we can see if there is anything European Athletics or the IAAF can do to bring the weaker ones up to the level of best practice.”

Hansen said he would be raising a number of ideas when he takes up his seat as the European Area Representative at the first meeting of the new IAAF Council.

“Both the candidates for president, Sergey Bubka and Seb Coe, have engaged in this debate in the last couple of weeks, so I am confident that whoever is elected will be serious about this issue and open to our input.”

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