Athletics
The sport of athletics has been thrown into chaos weeks before the World Athletics ChampionshipsGetty

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has labelled allegations made by The Sunday Times and ARD regarding a doping crisis in the sport as "sensationalist and confusing".

In a blistering defence of its anti-doping policy, the athletics governing body has refuted many of the accusations and attacked the conclusions drawn by the media outlets which called into questions the administrations' integrity.

The British newspaper and German Television Company obtained 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012 and claimed that 55 gold medals won at Olympic Games and World Championships during the period were by athletes with "suspicious" results.

"The published allegations were sensationalist and confusing: the results referred to were not positive tests," a statement read. "ARD and The Sunday Times both admit that their evaluation of the data did not prove doping.

"The IAAF wants to stamp out all doping in sport and welcomes greater public debate. There is no perfect system for catching drug cheats, but the IAAF has been at the forefront of drug testing for many years."

The organisation also disregards the tests, deemed suspicious in the multiple reports, which come prior to the introduction of the biological passport – implemented in 2009 – and also admits surprise about the comments made by the World Anti-doping Agency over the findings.

"The IAAF is responsible for working with its member federations to ensure they are also complying with the code and its requirements, and acknowledges that there is work still do in some nations," the statement continued.

"The IAAF is however very encouraged that those countries that are actively implementing serious and code complaint anti-doping programmes have a much smaller level of suspected doping.

"Any reporting by the ARD and The Sunday Times that the IAAF was negligent in addressing or following up the suspicious profiles is simply false, disappointing, and misinformed journalism.

"To the contrary, in an attempt to catch and sanction the cheats in our sport, the IAAF has used every means available to it within the anti-doping framework it operates in.

World record holder of the 100m and 200m Usian Bolt and Olympic champions from London 2012 Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah were cleared in the findings, but an unnamed high profile British athlete has been implicated.

From the blood data which was analysed by two independent experts, the IAAF was accused of not taking action over a number of tests, including the women's 1500m final where Russian athletes locked out the medals positions.

The cloud over the sport of athletics comes on the eve of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, while a vote to elect a new president – with Lord Sebastian Coe and Sergei Bubka the two candidates – takes place prior to the meet on 18 August.