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For the record

Response to headlines on the doping scandal: "sport's dirtiest secret"  Image

Response to headlines on the doping scandal: "sport's dirtiest secret"

Articles in The Sunday Times (£), The Daily Telegraph, The Times (£), The Independent, The Guardian and The Scotsman on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th August 2015 reported on leaked results of blood tests from 5000 athletes. The papers claimed the high level of 'abnormal' blood tests revealed "the extraordinary extent of cheating by athletes at the world’s most prestigious events" and that "one in three medal winning distance runners this century are guilty of doping". 

Professor Atholl Johnston, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Barts and The London, Queen Mary University of London and Fellow of The Royal College of Pathologists

"My understanding of this is that there is no direct evidence of "doping". The findings are that the haemoglobin concentration / red cell counts in 800 of the 5000 athletes tested are 'abnormal', I assume on the high side. Given that the athletic ability of these individuals is 'abnormal' there may be a correlation but it does not follow that the 'abnormal' blood findings are causative of athletic ability of these individuals. Having a naturally high haemoglobin/ red cell count may occur naturally and contribute to these individuals athletic ability. Are we going to start accusing abnormally tall basket ball players of abusing growth hormone in their youth? Let's see some data rather than this continued innuendo."

Document type: For The Record

Published: 5 August 2015

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