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Statement of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen

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Statement of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen on Doping Allegations Published on 1 and 2 August 2015

The allegations of suspected widespread doping in top-level athletics over many years made in a documentary broadcast on the German ARD/WRD network and published by the Sunday Times this weekend are a cause for deep dismay and yet another indication of how much we as a sport still have to do to ensure that athletics is free of doping and seen to be fair and clean.

Without comment on the veracity of the various claims or the leaking of confidential files from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), European Athletics shares the concerns expressed by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and we call on the IAAF, as the world governing body for the sport, to clarify the situation and step up its already leading efforts to combat the scourge of doping.

For our part, we in European Athletics understand that integrity is non-negotiable and it is the basis for the continued existence and success of our sport. We also recognise that substance abuse and other forms of cheating for financial gain or other reasons are challenges not only for sport but also for society as a whole.

I have on many occasions expressed our policy of zero tolerance for doping and our commitment to doing everything we as one of the six IAAF Area associations can to enforce the existing rules.

I have also announced that we will be expanding our own anti-doping education programme for young athletes and exploring the development of a license system that ensures only those athletes who have gone through the programme are eligible to compete in the championships and other events we stage.

But we are under no illusions that there is an easy fix, and we are currently developing other ideas that we can introduce in Europe as examples for the rest of the sport around the world or propose to the IAAF and WADA for worldwide implementation. I will give this work an increased priority in the coming months.

The IAAF elections in Beijing later this month will bring new leadership to the organisation. The importance of this opportunity for change cannot be overstated. European Athletics is pleased to note that both of the presidential candidates, Sergey Bubka and Sebastian Coe, have expressed their commitment to effectively addressing the issue of doping.

As the European Athletics President I will become a member of the IAAF Council after the World Championships in Athletics and in this position I will constantly push the new IAAF president and my IAAF Council colleagues to make sure the words of their campaigns about the fight against doping are translated into action and that the IAAF is completely transparent about its work in this area.