August 11, 2015

LONDON (AP) Facing a barrage of criticism over its handling of drug-test results, the IAAF announced Tuesday that 28 athletes had been caught in retests of their doping samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships.

The test results were disclosed following weeks of damaging headlines for track and field's governing body. Media outlets in Germany in Britain, citing leaked test results from an IAAF database, asserted that blood doping was rampant in the sport and the IAAF was not doing enough to stop it.

In announcing the new wave of positive tests, the International Association of Athletics Federations said it was committed to using ''every means at its disposal ... to root out the cheats.''

The IAAF did not name any of the 28 athletes, who produced 32 positive findings in tests from the 2005 championships in Helsinki and the 2007 worlds in Osaka, Japan.

The IAAF said none of the athletes will be competing in the upcoming world championships in Beijing, which begin Aug. 22.

''A large majority of the 28 are retired, some are athletes who have already been sanctioned, and only very few remain active in sport,'' the IAAF said.

If athletes are found guilty of doping violations, the IAAF said it ''will correct the record books and re-allocate medals as necessary.''

In 2012, the IAAF conducted a first round of retesting of urine samples from Helsinki and caught six athletes from Russia and Belarus for doping, including three gold medalists and two silver medalists.

A second round of retesting of the 2005 samples began in April of this year, resulting in the 32 new positives, the IAAF said.

''The findings reconfirm, yet again, the commitment of the IAAF to target and uncover all cheating in the sport, no matter how long it takes,'' the federation said.

The IAAF said the retesting of the 2005 and 2007 samples ''commenced well before'' the allegations made by the ARD network and The Sunday Times.

The media reports analyzed the results of 12,000 blood tests involving 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012, and concluded that 800 were suspicious. The reports said that 146 medals - including 55 golds - in disciplines ranging from the 800 meters to the marathon at the Olympics and world championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests.

The IAAF has strongly rejected suggestions that it had failed to follow up on the suspicious tests.

The 2005 and 2007 samples were retested with improved scientific methods that can find previously undetectable substances. The IAAF also took advantage of the longer statute of limitations for testing of stored samples, which was recently extended from eight to 10 years.

The samples were retested at the Swiss doping laboratory in Lausanne.

''We are at the cutting edge of the fight against doping,'' lab director Martial Saugy said. ''In our 10-year partnership with the IAAF we have been using every scientific advance and legal opportunity at our disposal to catch the cheats.''

In 2013, the IAAF announced the six athletes who had tested positive in the first reanalysis of samples from Helsinki. Shot put champion Nazdeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who was also stripped of her London Olympic gold medal for doping, was one of the six.

The other 2005 gold medalists caught then were hammer throwers Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus and Olga Kuzenkova of Russia. The other three athletes were Vadim Devyatovskiy of Belarus, who took second in the hammer; Tatyana Kotova of Russia, who was second in the long jump; and Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, who was sixth in the shot put.

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