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Barr hopes reports bring change
04 Aug 2015 22:10
World University Games goal medallist Thomas Barr is not convinced that athletics will ever be entirely clean, but the Irish 400m hurdles champion believes that recent alleged suspicious test revelations can eventually bring about some change in the sport.
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The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR reported during the week that data relating to 12,000 blood tests conducted on more than 5,000 athletes showed that a third of medallists had suspicious tests, and have yet to have their medals stripped.
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Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Barr admitted that he has been trying to ignore such reports and focus on his own performances, but does feel that if doping is brought to light, it will one day lead to a cleaner sport.
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The four-time Irish champion said: “I haven’t read into it too much to be honest. At the end of the day, athletics is always going to be clouded a little bit when you get stories like this. And as much as you want, I don’t know if it will ever be entirely clean.
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“There is no point in me trying to dwell on what everyone else is doing. All I can do is my best. I know I’m clean, I’m tested however many times a year in competition and out of competition so all I can do is focus on my own training, what I’m doing and try to beat whoever is out there whether they are clean or not. Hopefully anti-doping programmes will stay ahead of doping.
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“It may have all been blown completely out of proportion. As well, in a way, a lot of athletes are aware what is going on but I can be a little bit naive so I was a bit shocked by the story itself.
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“I am hoping that it has just been something that has been blown way out of proportion. I know it’s shocking for the public as it is for any athlete to be thinking ‘any athlete that is going to be out there at the top of the game could be on drugs’ and a lot of the medals they are saying that there are tainted histories. There is no point dwelling on it at the moment, all we can do it hope the anti-doping is going to improve and keep catching anyone that is cheating.
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“In one way, it is possibly a good thing that this has come out because now, obviously, the IAAF are going to be looking more into it. Individual countries and agencies are going to be looking more into anti-doping, so in a way it is good thing that has been highlighted.”
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