MONACO // The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it spends more money than cycling’s governing body in the fight against doping.
A day after two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome recommended that athletics invest more to fight doping, the IAAF said it spent more than US$2 million (Dh7.3m) on its 2014 anti-doping programme while cycling’s governing body “spent approximately 1.1 million” Swiss francs (Dh4.1m) in 2013.
Citing World Anti-Doping Agency figures, the IAAF said it performed more than 25,000 tests in 2014, compared to cycling’s 23,000.
Earlier this month, two anti-doping scientists who reviewed data obtained by media outlets suggested blood doping was widespread in track and field. They compared the IAAF’s current doping problems with those faced by professional cycling 20 years ago when the use of the blood-booster EPO was common practice.
Froome also has backed British track great Mo Farah’s decision to release blood test data in an attempt to silence sceptics.
Farah, who won Olympic gold medals in 2012 for the 5,000 metre and 10,000m - is one of eight athletes who have agreed to release their own readings.
His coach, Alberto Salazar, has faced doping allegations but both he and Farah deny any wrongdoing.
And fellow Briton Froome, who faced constant allegations of doping during his second Tour win last month, said it is the right thing to do.
“I think for similar reasons during the Tour de France we released some of my power data,” he said. “It’s a step towards being more transparent, to show we don’t have anything to hide.”
However, Froome said that while the decision might be right for some, it would be wrong to suspect others purely for their reluctance to release their own numbers given the personal nature of the information.
“There’s definitely that downside,” he said. “I’ve released all my personal medical information and I’m doing it to show people there’s nothing to hide, but I wouldn’t want athletes who are not doing that to have a shadow cast on them.”
As for himself, Froome said he can win five more Tours de France, making him a seven-time champion and the most successful rider in the history of cycling’s greatest race.
The Briton, who celebrated his second Tour triumph last month, told the BBC he sees no reason why he cannot go past five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
American Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven victories for drug use but Froome said: “I want to be a spokesman for clean cycling”.
Asked if he felt he could win five more times, Froome said: “Why not? I’m 30, other riders have won Tours into their late 30s, potentially I’ve got another eight or nine years left.
“I’d love to keep racing until my late 30s, for as long as my body will allow me to. I’d like to think I could go back again for the foreseeable future, four or five years at least.”
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