Where are the President's gold medalists hiding?

London. IAAF deputy chief and former world-class middle-distance runner Sebastian Coe has responded with sharp attacks on the recent doping revelations in athletics. In a BBC interview, he called the research of ARD and the British newspaper "Sunday Times" "a" declaration of war on my sport ".

"There is nothing in the history and integrity of our anti-doping struggle that justifies such an attack. We shouldn't hide from it. We should go out and fight," Coe said in an interview with the AP news agency published on Wednesday.

The tone becomes sharper

The statements made by the British follow directly on from the official statement by the World Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Tuesday evening. The tone becomes sharper and sharper. On the other hand, the IAAF and its vice-president hardly go into the specific allegations of the ARD and the British newspaper "Sunday Times". Observers see the attacks by the 58-year-old as strategic statements with a view to the association's congress in Beijing at the end of August. There Coe wants to be elected to succeed the controversial IAAF President Lamine Diack (Senegal).

ARD and "Sunday Times" came up with an IAAF database during their research and had 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 runners evaluated. The result: blood tests suspected of doping were found in every third medalist who stood on the podium at the Summer Olympics and World Championships from 2001 to 2012 in one of the endurance disciplines from 800 meters to the marathon. Specifically, there are 146 medal winners - 55 of them won gold.

No names

Names were not mentioned in the documentation "Doping, a secret matter: In the shadowy realm of athletics". But the findings were shocking enough for the sporting world: most of the runners who were exposed to it should never have been prosecuted. The research also shows how easily the biological blood passport declared by the IAAF to be the main instrument in its anti-doping fight can be undermined by the athletes.

Coe did not comment on this in the interviews. But the head of organization for the 2012 Olympic Games in London emphasized once again that the evaluated blood tests could not prove doping abuse. The use of this database shows "either a hair-raising ignorance or a high degree of maliciousness" on the part of the journalists. "The purely selective evaluation of this so-called information is simply wrong," emphasized Coe.

"Sensational and confused"

The IAAF had already rejected the doping revelations in its official statement on Tuesday as "sensational and confused". Coe now also used the term "sensationalization". The reports are an attempt "to destroy the reputation of the athletes and our sport. We cannot leave the impression that my sport either covers fraud or is unable to pursue it."

ARD and "Sunday Times" have so far reacted calmly to the attacks by the IAAF. The British newspaper announced on Wednesday that it was behind its story. The statement by the World Athletics Federation described them as "insincere".