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Coe wants coaches under scanner

Athens: Two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Sebastian Coe called on Wednesday for an investigation into the coaches of athletes who fail drug tests. “We have a responsibility to look forensically at the chain of custody and establish the credentials of the coach,” the former British member of Parliament told an anti-doping seminar.

“If you have evidence it should be the responsibility of the governing body to look beyond simply the competitor. I would like a little more emphasis to be put on the build-up, the chronology and the pathology because it is not simply about the competitor.”

Coe, the only man to retain the Olympic 1,500 title with wins in Moscow in 1980 and four years later in Los Angeles, said spectators could be watching a “competition between chemists” in the future.

“We have to fight,” he said. “In the 1970s and 1980s, we ignored the issue. The real cancer in sport was not commercialism but athletes cheating to get where they are. We will always have a doping problem it’s like the arms race.”

Spyros Capralos, executive director of the 2004 Athens Organising Committee (ATHOC), said it was committed to hosting a clean Games and would open a new anti-doping centre in time for the Olympics. “Athens 2004 is very concerned about the use of drugs in sport, the harm it does to the idea of fair competition, to individual athletes and to those who idolise them,” he said.

The Greek athletics association (SEGAS) faced serious questions over its cooperation in doping controls from the IAAF in November last year. IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai complained that Greek athletes were not being made available for out-of-competition testing. SEGAS denied it had withheld competitors.

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