German sports chief calls for probe

17th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 January 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German Olympic sports chief Thomas Bach Wednesday called for an investigation following a television report that hundreds of the country's athletes missed doping tests last year. A television documentary due to be shown on ARD on Wednesday evening said as many as 400 athletes missed tests in 2006 without being punished. Media reports Wednesday said that among the athletes, Olympic discus champion Lars Riedel had missed five doping tests. Bach, president of the German Olympic

17 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - German Olympic sports chief Thomas Bach Wednesday called for an investigation following a television report that hundreds of the country's athletes missed doping tests last year.

A television documentary due to be shown on ARD on Wednesday evening said as many as 400 athletes missed tests in 2006 without being punished.

Media reports Wednesday said that among the athletes, Olympic discus champion Lars Riedel had missed five doping tests.

Bach, president of the German Olympics Sports Association (DOSB), called on the national anti-doping agency NADA for a full report.

"We have asked for a report from NADA on these individual cases. Only then can we assess if and to what extent athletes have actually missed training controls," Bach told dpa.

DOSB general director Michael Vesper told Deutschlandfunk radio: "If these claims are confirmed there must be drastic action and NADA will be called upon to improve the control system."

Under NADA rules, athletes missing a test for the first time without valid reason should receive an official warning.

A second missed test should bring a suspension of at least three months, a third missed test a one-year suspension and a fourth missed test a two-year ban.

Five-time world champion and 1996 Olympic champion Riedel, 40, denied missing five doping tests, but admitted he had missed one.

Helmut Digel, vice-president of the international athletic federation IAAF told Deutschlandfunk that if Riedel was responsible for missing five tests he should be banned for two years.

However the German anti-doping agency did not have enough staff and was "completely unable to cope." If the fault was with NADA, Riedel could not be blamed

According to the ARD documentary, some 400 of 4,500 athletes missed doping controls last year. They included seven Olympic champions, 32 world champions and 28 European champions.

ARD doping expert Hans-Joachim Seppelt said this did not mean the athletes were at fault.

"Sloppiness from controllers and other reasons are definitely possible," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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