Speaking this afternoon (Sunday) following revelations by the Sunday Times and German broadcaster, ARD/WDR, about the widespread recording of suspicious tests by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), Minister of State for Sport, Michael Ring TD, said there can be absolutely no place for cheats in sport and that sporting organisations across the world must come together to weed them out.
“Reports today in respect of blood-doping data and cheating by athletes who are involved in some of the world’s top sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and World Championship, are shocking beyond belief. Such revelations will rock the sporting world to its core as clean athletes absorb the information and sporting organisations assess the gravity of the situation and decide on the best course of action to take to deal with the matter.
“Cheating in sport is unacceptable at all times. It sends the worst possible message to our young people, it attains glory under false pretences and means that spectators cannot trust the performances they so much enjoy. The leaking of this data has done a great service to the world of sport, lifting the lid on what is a dishonest and under-handed practice. For our part, Ireland takes such matters very seriously. The Sport Ireland Bill 2014 provides for information-sharing with the relevant bodies for the purpose of combatting doping in sport and we will continue to do what is needed to stay on top of this matter. I am calling on the IAAF to give these revelations their utmost attention and to take the necessary steps, and provide the resources needed, to ensure that cheats in sport are weeded out once and for all.”