Double Tour de France victor Chris Froome has backed Mo Farah’s decision to release his personal data and believes athletics must invest more in anti-doping measures as the latest scandal in the sport threatens to mirror cycling’s troubled past.
“That’s what sport is all about, that’s why you strive to be the best athlete you can be”.
Earlier this month, German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times published the results of a joint investigation which they said revealed the “extraordinary extent of cheating” by athletes at World Championships and Olympic Games between 2001 and 2012.
“I think for similar reasons during the Tour de France we released some of my power data”, he said.
The IAAF also claimed that while its anti-doping budget was spent covering all aspects of the sport, including track and field, cross-country, road running, walking and mountain running – and both men and women – the vast majority of the budget in cycling was spent on male riders from professional tour teams.
“It is going to have to invest a lot more heavily in anti-doping”, he added.
Froome said the UCI now spends four times as much as the IAAF on its testing program, and said that needed to change. “That would be a step in the right direction”.
But the IAAF again strongly defended its anti-doping programme in a statement released on Friday.
“This is, without doubt, the highest proportion of annual budget of any equivalent sporting federation or organisation”.
In response to a number of media inquiries into comparisons between the annual expenditure of the IAAF and the world governing body of cycling UCI, we would like to underline a number of facts for the record. It is our understanding that this contribution has even been reduced since then.
The Team Sky rider is philosophical about this now, saying he does not blame the tiny minority of wrongdoers on the roadside: his anger is directed at “supposed cycling experts” in the media who cast suspicions about his performances.
The claims were based on leaked files held by the worldwide Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which says they were obtained “without consent”, but this week provisionally suspended 28 athletes – many now retired – after retesting blood samples.
“This comparison shows that the sport of athletics did over 25,000 tests worldwide in 2014 while cycling did 23,000 tests, so logic suggests that athletics spends more than cycling worldwide in the field of testing”.
It also reiterated its position that data from before the introduction of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) in 2009 could not give definitive proof that doping had occurred.