IAAF DQ's and Doping

The saga continues 

Russia 'still cheating' as German broadcaster casts doubt over country's willingness to clean up drug problem

'Doping Top Secret: Russia's Red Herrings' shows coach named by Wada as supplier of banned drugs appearing to continue to work with elite athletes

Russia was last night accused of “massively violating” the conditions imposed on it in order for it to end its exile from world athletics before the Olympics.

Explosive new revelations from the German broadcaster which first exposed ‘state sponsored’ doping in the country cast major doubt on Russia’s commitment to mending its ways since it was banned by Lord Coe’s International Association of Athletics Federations almost four months ago.

The latest episode of ARD’s award-winning Sport Inside programme, entitled ‘Doping Top Secret: Russia’s Red Herrings’, claimed to have uncovered evidence that a culture of doping still existed within the country.

The network declared yesterday its latest findings demonstrated that Russia’s pledge to fundamentally reform its approach to drugs had been “mere lip service”.

Last night’s programme alleged that banned coaches were continuing to operate deep in the provinces of the country and that dealers of performance-enhancing substances remained at large.

It featured secret recordings of a man identified as the successor to an individual who was head of Russia’s medical commission and an adviser on, and supplier of, doping products.

Undercover journalists were introduced to the man in question at the Russian national championships almost two weeks ago and he appeared to agree to sell them such substances.

The programme also claimed to have obtained documents suggesting a newly-elected leader of the suspended Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) had, in the past, informed athletes about dates for drugs tests.

The new allegations were aired less than a week before an IAAF taskforce delivers its first report on Russia’s response to last year’s damning findings of a World Anti-Doping independent commission into its drugs problem.

The task force, chaired by Norwegian anti-doping expert Rune Andersen, has made four visits to the country since it was set up to monitor its adherence to strict conditions imposed upon it for the reinstatement of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (Araf/RusAF).

The criteria included the severing of ties with officials, officers or staff with any past involvement in doping.

The taskforce’s report will be presented to the IAAF president Coe and his council at their meeting in Monaco on Thursday and Friday.

Last night’s programme also aired less than a week after UK Anti-Doping announced it had begun testing Russian athletes under an agreement with Rusada facilitated by Wada.

Araf and Rusada were banned in November after a Wada independent commission corroborated shocking allegations first made almost a year earlier by Sport Inside journalist Hajo Seppelt.

The IAAF said in a statement last night: “The IAAF thanks ARD and Mr Seppelt for giving the independent chair Rune Andersen of the IAAF taskforce advance access to video and audio recording material which is being broadcast in today’s ARD/WDR documentaries.

“The taskforce will look carefully into the matters raised by the latest documentaries, including discussing them with representatives of RusAF.”

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie told the Daily Telegraph: “If the further allegations in the programme are true, we will be taking these up with Russian officials.”

Joseph de Pencier, the chairman of the International Association of National Anti-Doping Organisations, condemned the appointment by Rusada of someone accused of having informed athletes about dates for drugs tests.

He told Sport Inside: “When an official intentionally informs athletes in advance of doping tests, in order to defeat the doping control, disciplinary consequences must follow. This must be investigated, and a consequence would be that this person is fired.

“We are very sceptical. According to current knowledge, Russian athletes should not be allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.”

German Athletics Federation president, Clemens Prokop, said: “Apparently, the situation, as it has been called into question by the Wada independent commission, has not substantially changed.

One Russian athlete could be at the Olympics regardless of her country’s ban.

The IAAF is to consider granting the whistle-blower who helped expose the extent of her country’s doping problem – and was forced to go into hiding – a special exemption that would allow her to return to competition.

Yuliya Stepanova, an 800 metres runner banned for two years in 2013 following abnormalities in her biological passport, could race in Rio under the Olympic flag.

There were also reports in Turkey yesterday that Gamze Bulut, who won a silver medal in the 1,500m at London 2012, had become the fifth athlete from that final to be investigated for doping since the race.

Bulut had been set to inherited the gold medal of her compatriot Asli Cakir Alptekin, who surrendered her title in August to serve a suspension for blood doping.

Turkey's Gamze Bulut has reportedly failed a drugs test, which would mean that both the gold and silver medallists in the women's 1500 metres at the 2012 Olympics in London have fallen foul of doping rules.

Bulut's compatriot Aslı Çakır Alptekin won the 1500m race at London 2012 but has since been given an eight-year ban and has been stripped of her gold medal.

Now 23-year-old Bulut, the silver medallist, has also failed a test according to reports in Zaman, Turkey's largest newspaper which was recently taken over by the Government.

Like Alptekin, Bulut has been detected following analysis of her athlete biological passport (ABP), which monitors selected biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping rather than attempting to detect the doping substance or method itself.

The pair were training partners with Alptekin also leading home Bulut in a 1-2 at the 1500m at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki.

Alptekin's gold medals were never reallocated to Bulut, who was always suspected of doping due to her extraordinary success seemingly coming from nowhere.

European Athletics told insidethegames last week that Bulut would receive the Helsinki gold, but this will now likely change.

Bulut has hardly raced outside Turkey since her silver medal at London 2012.

Her last notable international performance was when she won the gold medal in the 5,000 metres at the European Athletics Under-23 Championships in Tampere in Finland in 2013. 

The London 2012 1500m final has become notorious for the doping records of those who took part.

Russia's Tatyana Tomashova, fourth in that race, served a two year doping ban from 2008.

The fifth-placed Abeba Aregawi, Sweden's Ethiopian-born runner, meanwhile, reportedly failed a test for Meldonium, it was revealed on Monday (February 29).

Seventh-placed Natallia Kareiva of Belarus was banned in 2014 following abnormalities in her ABP, while ninth placed Russian Ekaterina Kostetskaya was also also given a two-year sanction in the same year.

The news is the latest image blow for athletics with the third part of the WDR/ARD documentary on doping in Russia due to be released today.

It was revealed in January that the 30-year-old Alptekin had allegedly been bribed by two sons of Lamine Diack, the former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

She was told she could keep her Olympic gold medal if she paid  €650,000 (£490,000/$700,000) by Papa Massata Diack, currently the subject of a criminal investigation along with his father.

The IAAF said they would not comment on the case. 

Jenny Simpson Statement on Abeba Aregawi Doping Positive: “What has been announced today is far from justice served…”

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By LetsRun.com
February 29, 2016

On Monday, news broke that 2013 world 1500 champion Abeba Aregawi of Sweden tested positive for a banned substance. Aregawi, who has also recently faced Swedish tax issues, has been provisionally suspended until her B-sample is tested.

One American athlete impacted by the news is Jenny Simpson. Simpson, the world champion at 1500 meters in 2011, took silver at that distance in 2013, losing only to Aregawi. Simpson was the only runner close to Aregawi at the end of the race as the two women had broken clear of the field over the final lap.

LRC: Jenny Simpson Wins Silver as Abeba Aregawi Holds Her Off For Gold; Mary Cain 10th

LetsRun.com reached out to Simpson for an interview on Monday and she provided us with this statement:

This photo from 2013 Worlds will never be reversed

This photo from 2013 Worlds will never be reversed

There’s always a mix of satisfaction and grief when you hear the news that an athlete has been caught for cheating. These emotions are even greater when it’s a fellow competitor. I’m grateful that the sport is taking steps to catch cheaters and meaningfully deter others from violating the rules in the future. Justice begins when someone that stole from the sport isn’t going to just get away with it. But I grieve the decision that was made by a skilled athlete, capable of greatness, to take a shortcut. I grieve that athletes have influencers around them that encourage rather than prevent bad behavior. I grieve the continued systematic abuse of drugs, money, and power to corrupt a sport that would be even more compelling if everyone played fairly. I grieve the loss of my own opportunity to stand in the place that my hard work earned me on many podiums, robbed of moments meant to honor the dozens of people that helped get me there. I’m hopeful that things might really be changing for the better in our sport and I’m sad it didn’t start changing sooner.

While there is some satisfaction in hearing that drug tests are raising red flags, what has been announced today is far from justice served. First, we need to give the testing process enough time to show adequate evidence and prove that cheating took place. Once that has been determined, we as a sport and community cannot allow a brief unveiling of corruption to stand in the place of justice and consequences. We have to demand follow-through by WADA, the IAAF, and the NGOs to impose consequences on cheaters and advance athletes who competed clean. There’s a lot more work to be done on many investigations in order to repair the reputation of our sport and properly celebrate clean competitors.

The Doping Problem Moves To Ethiopia

Last week was quite a week in terms of U.S. action as the major conferences held their conference meets. Plus the first Abbott World Marathon Major of 2016 was held – Tokyo – and the Abbott World Marathon Majors prizes were awarded for Series IX (which ran from 2015 Tokyo to 2016 Tokyo). To read our Tokyo recap (including news of a Japanese 19-year-old running 2:11) click here.

However, we’ll start with a major doping bust. In the last year, big doping stories have come out about athletes in Russia and Kenya and allegations in America. During that time, whenever people have ripped on Kenya, we’ve always thought to ourselves, “What about Ethiopia?”

Now, it has come out that Ethiopian-based Swede Abeba Aregawi – the 2013 World 1,500 champ – was popped in an out-of-competition test in Ethiopia in January for a PED. (Her “B” sample needs to confirm this result to be an official positive). At the same time, an Ethiopian anti-doping official said that nine athletes may soon be sanctioned with five of them being considered “top athletes.” It looks like the first of those names has come out as 2015 Tokyo Marathon champ Endeshaw Negesse has tested positive.

Aregawi took gold ahead of Jenny Simpson in 2013

Aregawi took gold ahead of Jenny Simpson in 2013

We hope all of these recent positives will make the people in charge of our sport officially realize that doping is a huge problem for our entire sport. It’s not something we solved 10 years ago with BALCO. And it’s not a problem limited to specific countries.

After the Aregawi positive was announced, we got a great email from a top U.S. middle distance runner that we think helps all of you visual learners understand how big of a problem doping is for our sport.

The athlete, who asked to remain anonymous, decided to update his or her unofficial 2012 women’s 1,500 results from the London Olympics.


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's Ethiopian-born 1,500 metres runner Abeba Aregawi can run for Sweden at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Portland despite a storm over her Swedish citizenship and tax affairs, officials said on Saturday.

Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Aregawi, who is due to defend her title in Oregon next month, had told Sweden's migration board that she was resident in the country to gain citizenship but during a recent tax investigation into her affairs she said she had never lived there.

Sweden's Athletics Association general secretary Stefan Olsson told Reuters the controversy would not affect Aregawi's participation in Portland but she would be asked to explain the situation.

"She has done the right thing, the migration board have made their judgement and the tax authority have made theirs. At the moment there is nothing to suggest that it will affect her sporting efforts," Olsson said in a telephone interview.

"As long as the authorities have said that everything is okay, we have no reason to do anything else. On the other hand, we work a lot with confidence and trust and we want to be able to trust what people say in different contexts."

Olsson said the association would contact Aregawi to hear her side of the story.

Expressen reported on Saturday that Aregawi, who also won the world outdoor 1,500 title in 2013, had told Swedish tax authorities that she was not liable for tax as she had never lived in the country.

This was at odds with a citizenship application made by the 25-year-old which entitled her to start competing for Sweden in 2012, according to the tax authority.

Describing her explanation as "somewhat strange", tax authority documents showed Aregawi blamed language issues for the inconsistencies, Expressen said, adding that tax officials had ordered her to pay 11,112 Swedish crowns ($1,299.57) in back taxes.

French prosecutors have widened their investigation into corruption in athletics to include the bidding and voting processes for the hosting of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

Lamine Diack, the former president of world governing body the IAAF, isalready being investigated by French authorities.

He was arrested last year on corruption and money laundering charges, over allegations he took payments for deferring sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

Confirming the investigation was being widened, an official from the prosecutor's office said: "We are looking at these elements, but at this stage it is a question of verification. Nothing has been proved."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told the BBC it wants to be a party to the French investigations.

Tokyo, which will host the 2020 Olympics, defended the voting process when it came under scrutiny in January.

And Rio 2016 organisers said on Tuesday that the city "won the right to host the Games because it had the best project".

"The difference in the votes, 66 to 32 against Madrid, excludes any possibility of an election that could have been rigged," communications director Mario Andrada said.

The background

Diack, 82, was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations for 16 years until he stepped down last August.

He resigned as an honorary member of the IOC in November - a day after being provisionally suspended by the organisation following the start of the French investigation.

In December, a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report into alleged IAAF corruption claimed Diack had been prepared to sell his vote to decide on the host city for the 2020 Games in exchange for sponsorship of IAAF events.

Diack's son Papa Massata - who was employed by his father as a marketing consultant for the IAAF - is also under investigation, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued by Interpol.

Last month, Wada investigators called for a follow-up inquiry into all World Championships awarded by the IAAF for 2009-2019 after finding evidence of possible wrongdoing.

Diack Jr has been banned for life by the IAAF, but told the BBC in Decemberhe and his father were innocent of the claims against them.

Prosecutors are now looking into whether the alleged corruption could have extended to vote-rigging.

The Guardian claimed last year that - according to leaked emails - Diack Jr requested a payment of $5m from Doha in 2011, shortly before a decision was made about the city's unsuccessful bid for the 2017 World Championships. The Doha bid denies any wrongdoing.

In January, the newspaper reported he apparently arranged for "parcels" to be delivered to six IOC members in 2008, when Qatar was bidding for the 2016 Olympics, which will be hosted by Rio.

An IOC spokesman said the organisation had been in close contact with French prosecutors since the beginning of this investigation.

He added: "The IOC's chief ethics and compliance officer had already asked for the IOC to be fully informed in a timely manner of all issues that may refer to Olympic matters and has already applied to become a party to the investigations led by the French judicial authorities."

Analysis - BBC sports editor Dan Roan

"With the disgraced former president of the IAAF - Lamine Diack - having served as an IOC member between 1999 and 2013, investigators will want to know whether he could have influenced a bloc of voters when it came to deciding Olympic hosts.

"Since the 1999 Salt Lake City bribery scandal blew the lid on systematic corruption within the IOC, it has overhauled its rules, and regained trust in the integrity of its bidding process.

"But being dragged into the sprawling French probe into the IAAF's doping and extortion scandal will be something of a reality check for an organisation that has portrayed itself as a good example to crisis-hit governing bodies of sports such as football and cycling.

"Last month, Wada commission chief Dick Pound said he was 'fairly certain' the IOC was free of organised corruption, and the widening of this inquiry does not mean we are heading for a sensational revote of Tokyo 2020.

"But with investigators now taking a closer look at the bidding for an event as prestigious as the Olympics, the reputation of sport's most powerful figures will be called into question yet again."

Promising Russian hurdler banned for steroid use

Updated: March 1, 2016, 5:52 AM ET
Associated Press

MOSCOW -- The Russian track and field federation says its top young hurdler has been banned for steroid use.

Maxim Kosyukov, 17, won the Russian national youth title in the 110-meter hurdles in June but tested positive for methenolone at the event and has now been given a four-year ban.

Russia is a major power in hurdles events, with Sergei Shubenkov the reigning 110-meter world champion. Methenolone is the same substance that led to Belarusian shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk being stripped of an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

The Russian track federation said Kosyukov's sanction was imposed by the Russian Olympic Committee.

The federation is not allowed to impose disciplinary sanctions because it is suspended from global track over allegations of systematic, state-sponsored doping.

Ethiopia anti-doping agency: 9 athletes under investigation

Updated: February 29, 2016, 4:55 PM ET
Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Nine Ethiopian runners, five of them "top athletes," are under investigation for doping, the general secretary of the country's anti-doping agency said Monday, raising fears of another damaging scandal for track and field in the run-up to the Rio Olympics.

Solomon Meaza told The Associated Press that the Ethiopian Anti-Doping Agency is investigating the five athletes he described as high-profile after they returned "suspicious" results in tests.

"To be clear, some banned (substances) were found in the five athletes," he said. "They will be summoned and asked if they have taken any banned substances (or) chemicals."

Solomon declined to name the athletes, give details of the substances they are suspected of using, or say when tests were carried out as investigations are ongoing. He stressed that more tests were needed to establish any guilt.

But he said: "There is a real concern when the upcoming investigations arrive."

The IAAF has requested contact details for the other four athletes under suspicion and the governing body is investigating them, Solomon said, adding that he has provided the details for those athletes to the IAAF through the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Ethiopian cases will be another blow to the sport following major doping scandals in Russia and Kenya in the buildup to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Russia was banned from international track and field competition in November after damning allegations of a vast scheme of doping and cover-ups. Kenya is in danger of a similar sanction after four senior track officials were suspended by the IAAF pending investigations into allegations they sought to cover up doping. Kenya also has not fallen in line with global anti-doping rules and faces an April 5 deadline to sort out its failing anti-doping program.

Like Kenya, Ethiopia is a distance running powerhouse and finished in the top five on the medal table at last year's track and field world championships in Beijing with eight medals.

The revelation by Solomon came on the same day the IAAF announced that Ethiopian-born former 1,500-meter world champion Abeba Aregawi failed a doping test and had been suspended pending an investigation. Swedish media reported that Abeba, who now competes for Sweden, failed an out-of-competition test in Ethiopia, where she trains. The IAAF said Abeba had voluntarily withdrawn from competition and asked for her backup "B" sample to be tested.

A Russian whistle-blower who helped uncover that country's doping program warned last year that Kenya and Ethiopia both had serious problems with athletes using banned substances and should be closely investigated.

Lord Coe is ready to ban Kenya's track and field team from the Olympics if the country's athletics federation is declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code.

Kenya missed a deadline last week to prove to Wada it was tackling cheating.

It comes after a spate of positive drugs tests among some of the country's athletes and allegations of corruption.

"We have to be much more proactive," said Coe, president of the sport's world governing body the IAAF.

Coe said he would impose serious sanctions on any nation guilty of attempting to cover up drug-taking.

Kenya is to be placed on a 'watch-list' of nations at risk of breaching Wada's code and could be banned from international competition if non-compliant, as happened with Russia's athletes.

"We know that a disproportionate amount of reputational damage is caused by a relatively few countries," he told BT Sport's The Clare Balding Show.

"If it means pulling them out of World Championships or Olympic Games then we will have to do that.

"I know the World Anti-Doping Agency has looked very closely at the Kenyan National Anti-Doping Agency. We, of course, monitor that through the IAAF, so that work is ongoing."

On Tuesday, the chief executive of Athletics Kenya said he wanted to step down temporarily amid allegations he asked athletes for bribes to reduce doping bans.

Isaac Mwangi denies wrongdoing but wants to leave his post for 21 days while the claims are investigated by the IAAF.

For several months, Wada has been trying to persuade Kenya to set up an effective national agency so more drug tests can be conducted, but progress has been slow.

The East African country, whose athletes are dominant in distance running, topped the medal table at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with seven gold medals.

BBC sports editor Dan Roan is told by unnamed athletes that doping is commonplace in Kenya.

But since 2011, more than 40 of its athletes have failed drugs tests.

David Howman, Wada's director general, said "a fully functional" anti-doping agency is "a vital step for a country of Kenya's sporting stature" if it is to "effectively protect clean athletes".

He added that it must be established "at the earliest opportunity".

Meanwhile, former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang has urged Kenya's government to strengthen their fight against doping.

Kipsang, 33, is president of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya and was among 80 athletes who met in Eldoret on Wednesday to formulate an appeal to Kenya's government to fast-track legislation criminalising doping.

He told the Daily Nation newspaper: "We must all step up the fight against doping because if we are banned, Kenya will never be the same again. This is a country which has made its name as an athletics giant."

EMBU, Kenya (AP) — Two Kenyan athletes serving four-year bans for doping at the 2015 world championships say the chief executive of Athletics Kenya, the country's governing body for track and field, asked them each for a $24,000 bribe to reduce their suspensions.

Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga told The Associated Press that CEO Isaac Mwangi asked for the payment in an Oct. 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. They were informed of their four-year bans in a Nov. 27 email, but never filed a criminal complaint because, they say, they had no proof to back up their bribery accusation and also feared repercussions.

Mwangi dismissed the allegation as "just a joke," denied ever meeting privately with the athletes and said Athletics Kenya has no power to shave time off athletes' bans.

"We have heard stories, athletes coming and saying, 'Oh, you know, I was asked for money,'" Mwangi said. "But can you really substantiate that?"

Sakari, a 400-meter runner, and Manunga, a hurdler, told AP they would be willing to testify to the ethics commission of the IAAF, the global governing body of athletics.

The commission already is investigating allegations that AK officials sought to subvert anti-doping in Kenya, solicited bribes and offered athletes reduced bans. The probe has led to the suspensions of AK's president, Isaiah Kiplagat, a vice president, David Okeyo, and AK's former treasurer, Joseph Kinyua.

Sharad Rao, a former director of prosecutions in Kenya who also has adjudicated cases for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is leading the ethics investigation for the International Association of Athletics Federations. Sakari and Manunga's decision to come forward could be a breakthrough, because Kenyan athletes have been unwilling to act as whistleblowers.

"There is obviously the reluctance on the part of the athletes to come forward," Rao said. "They don't want to stand out."

As many as a half-dozen banned athletes have privately indicated to the IAAF commission that AK officials sought to extort them and that they feel their sanctions might have been less if they had paid bribes, Rao said.

AP's interview with Sakari and Manunga is the first time Kenyan athletes have detailed such allegations publicly.

"That information would, of course, be very, very significant, very important for us," Rao said.

Rao said he has been talking to at least one other athlete who may have been approached for a bribe, and that his first priority was to get responses from Kiplagat, Okeyo and Kinyua — all three of whom have flatly denied to him that they took or solicited bribes.

Acting on AP's report, the IAAF said Wednesday it has passed Sakari and Manunga's allegations to the ethics commission. The World Anti-Doping Agency said it is "most disturbed" by the allegations that sound "eerily similar" to other recent revelations of doping cover-ups in athletics, mostly focused on Russia, and said it would seek more information to determine if it should investigate.

Sakari and Manunga, both police officers in Kenya, said Mwangi asked them for 2.5 million Kenyan shillings — or $24,000 — each.

"I told him I've never seen that much money in my life," Manunga told AP. "Even if I sold everything, I wouldn't be able to get together that amount of money."

The athletes tested positive in August for furosemide, a diuretic banned because it can mask the use of forbidden performance-enhancers, and were sent home from the worlds in Beijing. They told AP the drug was sold to them by a chemist in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, who said it would alleviate side effects of supplements they were taking. The chemist testified in defense of the athletes to AK, saying he gave them furosemide to combat water-retention caused by the supplement.

Compared to doping cases involving other athletes, their four-year bans appear harsh. World Anti-Doping Agency rules classify furosemide as a so-called "specified substance," distinguishing it from hardcore performance-enhancers like steroids or the blood-boosting hormone EPO.

For specified substances, IAAF rules allow for lesser bans of no more than two years, or even just a reprimand and no ban, if athletes can prove they weren't at fault or negligent.

To impose a four-year ban, the rules require authorities to establish that athletes intentionally cheated. But AK appears to have discounted the chemist's testimony. In the letter it sent to Manunga announcing her ban, AK said there was no "plausible explanation" for using furosemide and that the federation "can only infer" she took it intentionally as a masking agent.

Last year, Serbia's athletics federation imposed a two-year ban on 800-meter runner Nemanja Kojic for the same substance. He can return to competition in 2017; Sakari and Manunga were banned until 2019.

They said they visited Mwangi's first-floor office together, seeking news of their case. During that meeting, they said, he asked for the bribe, dangling the possibility of shaving time off their bans.

Both athletes say they are sure of the date of that meeting — Oct. 16 — because, they say, they went to the KCB bank together later that day to open accounts and deposit 600,000 Kenya shillings ($5,785) paid to each of them for being on Kenya's team at the IAAF's world relays meet in the Bahamas in May.

"He was waiting for us to give him money, so that this 'thing' disappears," Manunga said. "We left, kept quiet and later that's when our names came out and we were told that we've been banned because we did not deliver that money."

"He asked us if we could give him something. That's what he said," said Sakari. "He asked for money."

Mwangi denied that he met privately with the athletes.

"Why we avoid those kinds of things is because we know athletes are fond of making any kind of claim," he told AP.

"It is not possible to give anyone money to meddle with your case," he added. "I will contact the athletes officially and I will ask the athletes to come, the two of them, and like I said they are police officers, so we will have to involve the police force."

Soliciting a bribe is a crime in Kenya.

The athletes have told their story privately to the Professional Athletics Association of Kenya, an advocacy group of Kenyan runners. The association's secretary, Julius Ndegwa, said Sakari and Manunga came to see him and a lawyer in January.

The athletes spoke to AP in an on-camera interview in Embu, a ramshackle town 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Nairobi where they were housed in police accommodation.

Sakari also raced at the 2012 London Olympics and 2009 worlds. In Beijing, she competed under the name Zakary, but Sakari is her preferred spelling. She indicated that she is now done with athletics, because she will be 33 when her ban expires.

Manunga, 23, said she would have paid to return sooner to competition.

"For me, those four years are too many," she said. "If I had the money, I'd have paid. But I didn't have it. So I just left."


Andrew Njuguna and Tom Odula in Nairobi and Mutwiri Mutuota in Embu, Kenya, contributed. John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester@ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/John-Leicester-Associated-Press-Sports-Columnis...

Three men have been arrested in Kenya after 

purporting to be officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) prepared to take bribes

 for fixing doping tests.

Reports in Kenya said they were caught in an attempt to con an athlete in a hotel into giving them KSh500,000 (£4,800) in exchange for not recording a positive doping test.

“We found out that two of them were waiting around outside for the athlete, while the other one coordinated from outside the town,” said an Eldoret commanding police officer Nelson Taliti. “When the athlete suspected them, he informed the police who began to track them down.

“This is a syndicate that has been threatening upcoming athletes. They claim to be Wada officials and order them to part with money.”

An unnamed athlete told Standard Digital: “I refused to meet them in Eldoret and instead asked that they come to Kaspsabet. They refused. I consulted my coach, who advised me to report to police, just in case they were conmen.

“I did so and we went to Eldoret with the police. I asked them to produce proof that they work for Wada and they did not. Police stormed in and arrested them.”

In a statement, Wada’s Ben Nichols urged any athletes concerned about their anti-doping rights to contact them.

“Wada does not condone behaviour that breaches world anti-doping rules, including the apparent action of individuals masquerading as doping control officers in Kenya,” he said.

“Athletes concerned that their anti-doping rights are being breached in any way should contact their responsible anti-doping organisation.

“Furthermore, Wada is not a testing agency and therefore the individuals in question could not have been ‘Wada officials’ as has been suggested.”

Calls set to intensify for athletics records to be wiped after evidence emerges that Chinese world-record holder Wang Junxia was part of state-sponsored doping 

  • Wang Junxia took 42 seconds off the women's 10000m record in 1993
  • Letter has emerged which appears to confirm the Chinese athlete was part of state-sponsored doping programme 
  • Calls for world records to be erased have increased following recent doping scandal in athletics

Calls for the world athletics records to be erased will intensify after the emergence of a letter that appears to confirm that Chinese distance runner Wang Junxia was part of a state-sponsored doping programme.

A member of the infamous Ma’s Army back in 1993 (named after controversial coach Ma Junren), Wang took a staggering 42 seconds off a women’s 10000m world record with a performance that no female athlete has been able to even get close to since. The best recorded time following Wang’s mark of 29mins 31.78secs was 29.53.80 by Meselech Melkamu in 2009, with sub 30 minute efforts still extremely rare over the 25-lap event.

Wang also still holds the 3000m world record and according to state media reports in China this week, she revealed in a letter in 1995 that she and other runners were forced to take ‘large doses of illegal drugs over the years’.

‘We are humans, not animals,’ says the letter. ‘For many years, [he] forced us to take a large dose of illegal drugs. It was true.’

A statement from the IAAF last night said: ‘The CCTV story confirms the existence of the letter allegedly written to the journalist only became known yesterday. Therefore the IAAF’s first action must be to verify that the letter is genuine. In this respect, the IAAF has asked the Chinese Athletics Association to assist it in that process.

‘In any case, IAAF Competition Rule 263.3 (e) note (ii) clearly states that if anyone makes an admission of guilt, the IAAF can take action: if an athlete has admitted that, at some time prior to achieving a World Record, he had used or taken advantage of a substance or technique prohibited at that time, then, subject to the advice of the Medical and Anti-Doping Commission, such record will not continue to be regarded as a World Record by the IAAF.’

Last month UK Athletics chiefs responded to the doping crisis in athletics by calling for the record books to be rewritten. In 2012 leading German doping expert Professor Werner Franke described many of the women’s world records as ‘eternal’ to this newspaper. 

World beating Chinese athlete Wang Junxia admits to doping

Former Chinese long-distance runner and the world record holder in the women’s 10,000 meters race, Wang Junxia, had admitted to having been forced into doping almost 21 years ago, China’s Tencent Sports reported on Wednesday.

In a whistle-blowing letter written by Wang and signed by nine other teammates of hers in March 1995, Wang had accused their coach Ma Junren of abusing and forcing the athletes under him to take “large doses of illegal drugs over the years.”

“Our feelings are sorry and complex when exposing his deeds. We are also worried that we would harm our country’s fame and reduce the worth of the gold medals we have worked very hard to get,” read the letter.

Wang, born in 1973 in northeast China’s Jilin Province, shattered the 10,000 meters world record by 42 seconds at the Chinese national games in 1993. A month before Wang made history, Chinese women distance runners under Ma’s lead had stunned the world by sweeping the world titles in the women’s 1,500 meters to 10,000 meters events at the World Championships in Athletics in Stuttgart, Germany.

In 1993 alone, Ma’s team broke a total of 66 domestic and world records.

Wang left Ma’s team in 1995 and trained under a new coach Mao Dezhen. She then won the gold in the women’s 5,000 meters event and the silver in the 10,000 meters event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, before retiring in 1997.

Wang’s letter was written to a reporter named Zhao Yu, who was investigating the case at that time, but it only became public on Wednesday in the Tencent Sports report. Zhao had written more details about the scandal in 1998, but they weren’t published until his book went under republication in 2014.

In the then unpublished part, some team members under Ma’s tutelage had told Zhao that they had been forced to take stimulants that exceeded the normal amount for an adult. Because of this, several athletes suffered from liver pains, but they weren’t allowed to go to a hospital. What’s more, Zhao revealed that some girls were going through abnormal changes like coarsening voice and halted periods.

Fearing that the pills would further harm them, the girls began to throw them away without Ma’s knowledge. The coach, however, would also personally injected stimulants into their bodies on a regular basis, and this they could not run away from.

In 2009, a memoir written by the former head of China’s General Administration of Sport Yuan Weimin exposed that six of the seven members of a track and field team set to participate in the 2000 Sydney Olympics had failed the drug test one month before the event. The team was then banned from the Sydney Olympics. It was then reported by China National Radio’s website that the team was actually Ma Junren’s team.

Ma announced his retirement at the age of 60 in 2004, and became the chairman of China’s Tibetan Mastiff Club.

Ever since the latest report by Tencent Sports has been published, the long-unresolved scandal has once again become a hot topic on social media in China.

Neither Wang Junxia nor Ma Junren has responded to the report so far. However, people are calling for a justice to be done with regard to Ma, Wang and all the other team members, along with a systemic rethink in order to overhaul the culture of sacrificing athletes’ health for gold medals.

A Look at the Women’s World Records When We Remove The Chinese Records and Wang Junxia’s Amazing Six Days From the Books

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By LetsRun.com
February 6, 2016

According to state media reports in China, 1996 Olympic champion and women’s 3,000/10,000 world record holder Wang Junxia admitted to participating in a state-sponsored doping regime under coach Ma Junren during the 1990s. The confession came in a letter signed by Junxia and nine teammates in 1995 that was sent to journalist Zhao Yu; the letter had not surfaced until it was published by China’s Tencent Sports on Wednesday.

Junxia set the world record in the 10,000 meters on September 8, 1993, in Beijing, running 29:31.78, a mark that bested the previous record by 42 seconds and began arguably the most impressive six day stretch by a distance athlete in the sport. Junxia proceeded to break the 3,000-meter world record twice (lowering it from 8:22.62 to 8:12.19 on September 12 before running 8:06.11 the next day) and was denied the 1500 WR on September 11 only because a teammate, Qu Yunxia, beat her to the line.

The IAAF said that is currently seeking to verify the letter and in a statement (reported by the Daily Mail) said that it may move to strike the records of Junxia and the other members of “Ma’s Army” from the books. The statement reads in part:

“In any case, IAAF Competition Rule 263.3 (e) note (ii) clearly states that if anyone makes an admission of guilt, the IAAF can take action: if an athlete has admitted that, at some time prior to achieving a World Record, he had used or taken advantage of a substance or technique prohibited at that time, then, subject to the advice of the Medical and Anti-Doping Commission, such record will not continue to be regarded as a World Record by the IAAF.”

If we remove the marks of Junxia and the other Junren-coached Chinese athletes from the record books, here’s what we’re left with for the top women’s outdoor marks in the distance events:


Genzebe DibabaEthiopia3:50.077/17/2015
Tatyana Kazankina*USSR3:52.478/13/1980
Paula IvanRomania3:53.9610/1/1988
Olga DvirnaUSSR3:54.237/27/1982
Hassiba BoulmerkaAlgeria3:55.308/8/1992

*suspended for 18 months in 1984 for refusing to take a drug test; never raced again

Athletes removed: Qu Yunxia (3:50.46), Bo Jiang (3:50.98), Lang Yinglai (3:51.34), Wang Junxia (3:51.92), Yin Lili (3:53.91), Lan Lixin (3:53.97), Zhang Ling (3:54.52), Dong Yanmei (3:55.07)


Hellen ObiriKenya8:20.685/9/2014
Mercy CheronoKenya8:21.145/9/2014
Gabriela SzaboRomania8:21.427/19/2002
Sonia O’SullivanIreland8:21.647/15/1994
Paula RadcliffeGreat Britain8:22.207/19/2002

Athletes removed: Wang Junxia (8:06.11), Qu Yunxia (8:12.18), Zhang Linli (8:16.50), Ma Liyan (8:19.78), Zhou Yihong (8:21.84)


Tirunesh DibabaEthiopia14:11.156/6/2008
Meseret DefarEthiopia14:12.887/22/2008
Almaz AyanaEthiopia14:14.325/17/2015
Genzebe DibabaEthiopia14:15.417/4/2015
Vivian CheruiyotKenya14:20.877/29/2011

Athletes removed: none


Meselech MelkamuEthiopia29:53.806/14/2009
Tirunesh DibabaEthiopia29:54.668/15/2008
Elvan Abeylegesse*Turkey29:56.348/15/2008
Meseret DefarEthiopia29:59.207/11/2009
Paula RadcliffeGreat Britain30:01.098/6/2002

*it was reported in August that Abelegesse will be charged with a doping violation stemming from the 2007 World Championships but her results and records have yet to be stripped

Athletes removed: Wang Junxia (29:31.78)

A few comments:

  • After removing the Chinese results, it becomes apparent just how much of an outlier Dibaba’s 1500 world record is. She’s over two seconds ahead of the nearest non-Chinese woman, and that runner, Tatyana Kazankina, has been linked to doping as well. In fact, the 1500 list is so crowded with suspicious names, whether they’re Chinese, Eastern European, or Turkish, that it’s extremely hard to tell which performances are genuine.
  • The 5,000, the only women’s distance world record to be routinely challenged (until Dibaba broke the 1500 WR in ’15) had no Chinese women in the top seven.
  • Many of the women’s track and field records are suspect, but few more than Junxia’s marks. Consider that in the span of six days in 1993, she produced the following performances:
9/8/199310000m29:31.78 WR
9/12/19933000m8:12.19 WR
9/13/19933000m8:06.11 WR

It’s impossible to know for sure whether any mark achieved by any athlete is clean but by removing some of the egregious Chinese women’s distance marks, the IAAF can take a step in the right direction.

Athletics | International

Sonia OSullivan © Gallo Images

'Belated gold would be hollow victory'

05 February 2016, 22:18

It would be a hollow victory for Sonia O'Sullivan if she became a double world champion 23 years after losing to Chinese athletes being probed for systematic doping, the former Irish distance runner said on Friday.

The IAAF ruling body said earlier that it would investigate the authenticity of a letter signed by 10 Chinese athletes that says an Olympic coach from their country ran a systematic doping programme up to the mid-1990s.

O'Sullivan, one of Ireland's most successful and celebrated track and field competitors, was beaten into fourth place in the 3 000 metres final and second in the 1 500 metres at the 1993 world championship by Chinese medal winners.

Gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in that era could be re-assigned if it is proved that an athlete took an illegal substance.

"It won't make a difference now," O'Sullivan told national broadcaster RTE. "It probably would have back then.

"As a double world champion, as a world record holder, which I also would have been because I would have had the world record in 1994 for the 3 000 metres and I would have had it for eight years, your profile and status would have been huge."

O'Sullivan, who went on to win world championship gold two years later, said she and her fellow competitors did not know what to think when the Chinese athletes "came out of nowhere" in 1993.

She was favourite for both races but remembers as "the most mind-boggling, strange thing ever" China's Wang Junxia and her team mates blowing everyone away in the 10 000 metres.

"Why did it take so long for it to be okay for people to talk about athletes cheating and to go after them when there's a little bit of a hint that somebody is doing something that's not quite right?", O'Sullivan said.

"I don't think that was carried out a lot in the 90s and a lot of stuff was definitely hidden. The system was set up to protect athletes that were cheating more than it was to protect clean athletes."

The allegations in the letter, which Reuters could not independently verify, come as the former head of world athletics Lamine Diack is under investigation by French authorities for corruption.

"If the truth comes out, just knowing that what you thought was unbelievable and not possible, that you were right. You know when something is extraordinary but it's amazing how much it takes to prove that," O'Sullivan said.

Dick Pound: “The real issue seems to be that I failed to participate in a lynching. I don’t do lynchings”


“Coe’s record speaks pretty well for itself, especially in generating enthusiasm for the London bid, leading the successful campaign, and then being the public face and motivator of the organising committee.  I think he could do the same for the IAAF,” said Dick Pound. “I have heard of no credible alternative leader proposed by anyone. I also think, as you know, that the best solution will come from within the organization that has got itself into the mess.”

Canadian Lawyer and founder of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Dick Pound headed the Independent Commission (IC) that was assembled in December 2014, for the purpose of investigating alleged corruption and doping practices within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in Russian athletics, specifically the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RADA). The IC’s formation was a quick response by the stunning allegations made by ARD Television in their documentary, “How Russia makes champions”, where they exposed extortion for the purpose of silence from positive doping test results of Russian athletes.

What he found and the recommendation Pound made in November 2015 with the release of the IC’s first report was ground-breaking in its nature; the banning of an entire nation from competing in a sport.

Along with fellow Canadian Lawyer Richard McLaren as well as GÜnter Younger head of the Bavarian Cyber Crime division, the IC recommended that Russia or ARAF be banned from participating in the sport of athletics until such time that they prove that they have cleaned up their act.

The IC released two reports on their nearly 12-month investigation and although powerless to implement anything, they could make recommendations. Recommending that the IAAF ban Russia was jaw-dropping in its scope.

Some of the foreshadowing that took place during the time between the release of Part one and Part two of the IC investigation spoke of something ominous, perhaps that Kenya was to be banned or that the corruption was proven to have infected the sporting world at all levels. It was to have a “wow factor,” According to Pound.

Report number two did not provide a public lynching that the media was anticipating; in fact Pound recommended that the current President of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, was the best candidate to lead the IAAF out of their current situation. This appeared to be a dramatic about face of sorts.

“The real issue seems to be that I failed to participate in a lynching.  I don’t do lynchings,” said Pound.

In an Athletics Illustrated article, I suggested that something had happened between the IC’s two reports for example, that Pound was perhaps intercepted and coerced or bullied or perhaps even begged into not bringing the sport down any further.

In response Pound said, “Why would you even think, if you had taken any care with your background research on me that I would permit myself to be “intercepted” in a matter of such importance?” One of the (many) reasons why I was never president of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was that I did not fail to act on a principled basis on many contentious issues within the IOC and within WADA, regardless of the impact on my personal advancement within each organisation and regardless of what the media may have thought of any such decision.”

“The conclusions of the IC were not the result of any intervention by anybody.  There was certainly no sell-out by anybody, including your humble servant, and we stand by those conclusions.”

The perception of the second report according to the media and anyone who watched the live stream was that there was no big news and in fact, it appeared that there was a change in Pound. Pound did say that people within the IAAF “had to know” (about doping). It turns out, he was not referring to council members or anyone specifically knowing about much of the corruption, which, as corruption goes was conducted under the veil of secrecy, likely within a very small and closed circle of individuals who the former President of the IAAF Lamine Diack likely surrounded himself with.

According to Dick Pound, “It cannot seriously be suggested that members of the IAAF Council were aware of the special arrangements with Russia that were entered into by the IAAF president and his inner circle.”

When asked about the apparently conflicting comments that Lord Sebastian Coe was the best person to lead the IAAF and the “they had to know” comment, Pound told Athletics Illustrated, “In the IC Report, you will see that no individual “blame” was attached to any individual member of the IAAF Council.  We found that there was an institutional failure to ensure that principles of good governance were in place and that this failure contributed to the problems the IC was mandated to investigate.”

“What the IC did note was that members would have been aware that there was a serious doping problem in Russia (plus in other countries).”

Pound feels that the best candidate to lead the IAAF to change is already in place, Lord Sebastian Coe. Regardless of some of Coe’s public relation failures after the ARD documentary aired.

“You saw how close the result was (between two candidates of far from equal ability) and one cannot be seen to be attacking the incumbent (who retains a great deal of influence, even on the way out, where small countries can outnumber large countries – do the math) even if he was incompetent.”

In other words, why usurp one’s own political campaign?

“If you attended the press conference, it is just possible that you may have noticed a concerted (if somewhat localised) view that Lord Coe should have been held personally responsible for all of the IAAF failures, and even that he should resign.  No one else was identified as having been at “fault” and no suggestion was made as to who might replace him.  What seemed important to some journalists was the nuclear solution, in which what to do the day after Armageddon had not been considered.”

“I think there was probably a general awareness that there was a lot of doping going on in Russia (among other countries), but there was an absence of proof to enable sanctions to be imposed, other than positive tests, of which there were many. You cannot suspend a country on the basis of suspicion, even strong suspicion. Even the IC would have been essentially powerless, but for the whistleblowers and confidential witnesses.  We had documents and we were in the fortunate position that one of the whistleblowers was the victim of the extortion scheme. Without that evidence, we would have been in the he said – she saidconundrum, in which everything would have been met with flat denials.

Pound has long earned the reputation of not suffering fools lightly. He is typically unapologetic in his view of sports that appear to have doping issues. For example in 2012 he said, “There is known and suspected use of human growth hormone (HGH) in the National Football League (NFL).” Apparently he claimed that “union lawyers who seek more information about testing for the performance-enhancing drug “flock to the pseudo-science like ants to a picnic.””

In 2005, Pound raised the ire of the NHL suggesting that performance enhancing drugs were widespread in their use in the league, that up to a third of athletes use them.

“I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Pound’s comments have absolutely no basis in fact,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press. “I find it troubling, to say the least, that he would find it necessary to comment on something he has absolutely no knowledge of.”

In 2003 Pound called Major League Baseball’s drug policy “a joke”.

He told the Associated Press, “I think it’s an insult to the fight against doping in sport, an insult to the intelligence of the American public and an insult to the game itself,”

“I think it’s a complete and utter joke. You can test positive for steroids five times, then they think of booting you out for a year? Give me a break. The first time someone has knowingly cheated and they give you counselling? It’s a complete and utter joke.”

Around that time, players who were smashing home run records at a whole new level were being caught or admitting to taking steroids, for example, Mark McGuire admitted to taking an over the counter product called androstenedione, but the product was already banned by WADA. He later admitted to taking steroids for over a decade. Sammy Sosa was named with several other players along with Barry Bonds in a book by Jose Cansenco, where he wrote openly about taking steroids and named several athletes.

In 2009, the Bleacher Report published a list of 103 NFL players who apparently tested positive for PEDs.

ON May 26, 2009 Richard and Sandra Thomas were arrested in what the Polk County Sherriff’s Office claimed as one of the biggest steroid busts in Florida history. According to the Thomas’s they supplied steroids to the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as well as the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Little has come of it.

Perhaps professional sport’s self-policing policy is indeed a joke; however, where WADA and the IAAF have a role, it wasn’t until the media, specifically ARD Television, unearthed apparent systematic corruption and doping in Russia that the IC was formed to investigate the allegations.

Pound’s tough, frank and honest reputation is well earned. He is also very clear that democracy – in this case a properly run election – trumps.

“I find that the call for Coe’s resignation is somewhat anomalous.  It would be like the media calling up Prime Minister Cameron to say: “Prime Minister, a bunch of us in the media, having sat around breathing our own exhaust for a while, and have come to the conclusion that the voters got it wrong.  So, you should resign at once.”

“The IAAF has had its election.  It has chosen its officers and Council.  Now they should be given a chance to do the right thing.  I fully agree that anyone is entitled to suggest what that “right thing” might be, but I do not agree that this includes attempting to nullify the outcomes of properly constituted elections.”


Eugene, the American city hosting the 2021 World Athletics Championships that it was controversially gifted without a proper bidding process, is struggling to raise finance to put on the event and has been forced to abandon efforts to use Sebastian Coe in the fund-raising effort, The Independent can reveal.

Organisers of the event in Nike’s home city planned to use Coe, the sportswear firm’s paid lobbyist, to persuade politicians to raise taxes for the event and now face a funding crisis having failed to do so.

Emails released under Freedom of Information legislation reveal plans to use a three-day visit this month to Eugene, Oregon, by Coe – newly elected president of the Independent Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – to boost attempts to raise $40m (£27.8m) in local taxation to help finance the event. Political lobbying has become vital because organisers had reached no political consensus about state funding before the IAAF controversially awarded the event to Eugene without any bidding process. The award dismayed the Swedish city of Gothenburg, which had hoped to compete in a transparent contest and had its own funding in place. 

The revelations of Coe’s anticipated involvement in the push to persuade politicians come as he finds himself at the centre of new questions surrounding his knowledge that brown envelopes full of cash were being handed out by London’s rivals in return for votes ahead of the IAAF vote for the 2017 World Championships. Coe’s office insisted that he knew rumours were washing around but had no more specific knowledge than that.

In one of a flurry of emails relating to the Coe visit to Oregon, Sasha Spencer-Atwood, director of external affairs at 2021 event organisers Track Town USA, asks Vince Porter, executive director of the Oregon governor’s office, last November if there were “legislators who should be addressed while Seb is in the building” during his visit. She asked whether they should be included in a planned one-hour meeting between Coe and Oregon Governor Kate Brown – or “invited to a separate opportunity we create?”

There were also hopes to have Coe meet the Oregon Speaker and the Senate President, as well as Democratic House of Representatives member Nancy Nathanson. 

Governor Brown indicated she could give Coe only 20 minutes of her time, the emails show. In the event, Coe cancelled his trip to Eugene, six days after he severed financial links with Nike following criticism by a House of Commons select committee. The key meeting with Governor Brown would have occurred on the same day the former World Anti-Doping Agency chief, Dick Pound, revealed corruption within the IAAF. 

Coe has always denied that his involvement with Nike represented a conflict of interest in the awarding of the championships to its home city. There is no impropriety in him using his status as IAAF president to ask Oregon’s politicians for help. But Eugene’s cash shortfall and need to use him calls into question the decision to ditch the scrutiny that a bidding process would have brought.

Bjorn Eriksson, former Interpol president and head of the Swedish athletics federation when the IAAF decision was made to give the championships to Eugene, said Gothenburg had all its funding in place. 

“Before we were ready to bid for it, there was a lot of advance work done to ensure that our team and the politicians were unified,” he told The Independent. “This is something that has to be discussed with politicians, local authorities, potential sponsors in advance.” 

Oregon hoped to get unanimous state backing for the 2021 event – the crown jewels of athletics, typically awarded to world capitals such as Moscow or Beijing rather than a modest city synonymous with Nike – but have failed. The emails released by the office of the Governor of Oregon demonstrate a desperate attempt to persuade politicians to vote through new taxes.

Strategies to gain funding for Eugene without rigorous assessments included securing decathlete Ashton Eaton and engaging “a firm to do some work with editorial boards prior to any public announcement”. That would “maximise our chances of success – I am feeling as though we need to launch several efforts,” Hans Bernard of the University of Oregon tells Brian Shipley of the Oregon government.

The president of the Track Town organising team, Vin Lananna, is now seeking to generate $25m (£17.3m) for the World Championships through a more limited tax scheme and to make up the rest somehow.

2017 World Championships

Sebastian Coe, the IAAF president, has admitted he was aware of rumours that brown envelopes were being handed out during the bidding for the 2017 World Championships, it has been suggested.

In 2011, London was successful in a two-horse race with Qatar to host next year’s championships. The head of London’s bid, Ed Warner, had previously revealed a “very senior person in the IAAF hierarchy” had warned of possible wrongdoing by Qatari officials, who have denied that.

A member of the London bid team, who was there on the eve of the vote at the Fairmont Hotel, Monaco, in November 2011, identified Coe as the official in question.

The source, who requested to remain anonymous, told The Independent: “We were in the Fairmont Hotel and it was a case of ‘the rumour is this is happening’, so there was never any ‘yes this is happening, I’ve seen it’.

“But Seb came in and said about [rumours of] brown envelopes on the Qatari floor. I don’t remember at any stage anyone saying that they’d seen it. It was much more the rumour is this. That came from Seb and Ed’s response was effectively, ‘Let’s just worry about what we’re doing.’”

Coe has already been under fire in the fallout from the doping and corruption scandals to have overshadowed his first six months since taking over as president from Lamine Diack.


Coe admits concerns over Doha’s right to host 2019 World Championships

The former middle-distance runner is set to undergo further scrutiny as a result of the bidding process for the 2017 World Championships, which it was revealed earlier this week had already been referred to the IAAF’s independent ethics commission.

Warner has scheduled a meeting with the commission and earlier this week told a parliamentary select committee that he would divulge all he knew of the bidding process. However, a statement from the IAAF neither confirmed nor denied the alleged conversation in Monaco had happened. It said: “Sebastian Coe had no actual knowledge of bribes being offered or received linked to the 2017 WorldChampionship. As he and Ed Warner discussed on [the BBC’s] 5 Live Sportsweek, there was rumour piled upon rumour in the days leading up to the bid, as is often the case on these occasions.”

In that interview, Warner had said: “The night before the bid a very senior person in the IAAF hierarchy told me and my bid team they understood that certain members of the IAAF Council were being called upstairs one by one to a hotel suite to be given a brown envelope. It was quite shocking to hear that. It seemed incredible at the time so I dismissed it.”

Coe, who was part of the same BBC interview, was asked: “Have you heard that story before, do you know who that IAAF official is?” He replied: “No, I haven’t”.

He added: “But Ed is right, whenever you are in a bidding process every sport has rumour upon rumour. The issue actually is if the French prosecutors are looking at this. I’ve already implemented a review of financial, marketing and… If anything comes out, clearly all those bids will be called in.”

The International Olympic Committee has issued a statement on the World Anti-Doping Association independent commission report, saying it is a "deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport".

The London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the presence of Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles,the report from Wada has found.

The report blames the "widespread inaction" of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) plus the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) and the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) for allowing these athletes to compete at the Games.

The Wada report also called on the IAAF to suspend Russia fromcompetition.


Russia 'should be banned from Olympics for sabotaging London 2012'

The IOC said: "This is a deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport. The IOC trusts that the new leadership of the IAAF with its president Sebastian Coe will draw all the necessary conclusions and will take all the necessary measures. In this context the IOC welcomes the clear commitment expressed by IAAF to do 'whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport'.

"With regard to the Olympic Games, the IOC will continue to take whatever measures needed to safeguard clean athletes, clean sport and good governance. In the most recent Olympic Summit meeting we have decided to make testing independent from sports organisations and have entrusted WADA to come up with proposals.

"The IOC will also carefully study the report with regard to the Olympic Games. If any infringements on the anti-doping rules by athletes and or their entourage should be established, the IOC will react with its usual zero tolerance policy.

"With regard to the police inquiries against the former IAAF President Mr. Lamine Diack the IOC Ethics Commission has today decided to recommend the provisional suspension of his IOC honorary membership.""The IOC will also carefully study the report with regard to the Olympic Games. If any infringements on the anti-doping rules by athletes and or their entourage should be established, the IOC will react with its usual zero tolerance policy.

‘Lord Coe has the wit, wisdom and ambition to effect change,” Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, insisted. Not something that can necessarily be said about Warner himself given his performance before the select committee on culture, media and sport: the most convincing reason for Lord Coe remaining president of the International Association of Athletics Federations he could come up with was that someone else would be even worse.

Warner may be tough on doping – he called for all British athletes caught cheating to be effectively banned for life – but he has the softest of soft spots for the former golden boy. Some might even call it a blind spot. “The presidency is very much a part-time role,” he said when asked to explain why the world governing body of athletics had become a discredited laughing stock. “The IAAF really needs to get round to appointing a new chief executive.”

The committee chair, Jesse Norman, understandably then asked why it had taken over a year for it not to appoint a new chief executive. “The presidency is very much a part-time role,” Warner explained again. Going round and round in circles is perfectly normal in athletics. “Lord Coe has a lot of other obligations.” Others have called them conflicts of interests.

Did Warner find it surprising that Coe still hadn’t got round to phoning the whistleblowers who had exposed the systematic doping of Russian athletes? Norman asked. He hadn’t really thought about it. “We have yet to find out if Russia’s non-suspension at the world championships was political,” he added. Someone please tell him.

Nor did Warner think that Coe’s apparent ability to miss what everyone else in the sport seemed to have known for years was any drawback. While he and the rest of UK athletics had been well aware of all the rumours about systematic doping, Coe existed at a rarified level above the sport and “hadn’t moved in those trackside circles”. The idea that Coe ought to have moved in those circles or that someone in those circles might possibly have kept him up to speed didn’t seem to have occurred to Warner.

The most surprising revelations came when the Conservative MP Damian Collins got on to the subject of Britain’s successful bid in 2011 to hold next year’s World Athletics Championships. Warner couldn’t really say why it had taken him six years to go public about the warning he had received that the Qataris were allegedly handing out brown paper envelopes stuffed with cash to voting members of the IAAF on the eve of the decision, other than the whole idea was “too fanciful”.

“You say that a member of the IAAF told you about the brown envelopes,” said Collins.


“Can you tell us who that was?”


“Was it Lord Coe?”

“I’m not going to say. It may have been, it may not have been.”

“Was it Lord Coe?” Collins asked again.

Warner still wasn’t prepared to tell, though he did concede that Lord Coe had tipped off the British that the Qataris were going to throw in $7.2m in prize money and that it would help the London bid to match it. Thanks, Seb. A man with the knack of always knowing enough but never too much. Just the kind of wit, ambition and wisdom that world athletics needs right now.

A timeline of events
3 December, 2014German broadcaster reveals a documentary exposing Russia's systemic doping problem
11 December, 2014Papa Massata Diack, son of then IAAF president Lamine Diack, steps down after accusations arise over his conduct and whether he was part of a money laundering scandal and involved with blackmailing doped athletes
2 August, 2015IAAF data leaked to German broadcaster ARD and Britain's Sunday Times claims that 12,000 blood samples taken from 5,000 athletes showed instances of cheating
5 August, 2015Lord Coe calls the allegations "a declaration of war on my sport" and says the IAAF was not involved in a cover-up
19 August, 2015Lord Coe is elected IAAF president
4 November, 2015The Guardian releases a report accusing Lamine Diack of accepting bribes to cover up doping as well as being involved in corruption and money laundering
9 November, 2015Wada releases the first report on its investigation into Russia's doping problem. The investigator, Dick Pound, says Russia's systemic doping problem is worse than he thought, that the findings are "the tip of the iceberg" and that Russian athletes should be banned from the Olympics
13 November, 2015The IAAF suspends Russia from international athletics
26 November, 2015Coe steps down from ambassadorial role at Nike
22 December, 2015IAAF official Nick Davies steps aside over an email discussing plans to delay naming Russian drug cheats
7 January, 2016The IAAF hands lifelong bans to officials involved in the scandal, including Lamine Diack and Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev
14 January, 2016Pound releases a second report, which concludes that corruption within the IAAF "cannot be blamed on a small number of miscreants" and that Diack had been "responsible for organising
 and enabling the conspiracy and corruption that took place in the IAAF"

Adidas to end IAAF sponsorship deal early in wake of doping crisis

Adidas, the IAAF's biggest sponsor, has told athletics' world governing body it is to terminate their sponsorship deal four years early, the BBC has learned.

The sportswear giant informed the IAAF of its decision - understood to be a direct result of the doping scandal sweeping the sport - earlier this week.

Sources have told the BBC the move will result in tens of millions of dollars in lost income to the IAAF.

And it is sure to come as a major blow for embattled president Lord Coe.

Neither Adidas nor the IAAF have made any comment.

The BBC understands Adidas informed the IAAF in November it was considering ending their relationship early as a result of the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) Independent Commission's first report, which detailed claims of"state sponsored doping" within Russia.

Earlier this month, the commission's chairman, Dick Pound, delivered a second, damning report, which revealed that "corruption was embedded" within the IAAF under former president Lamine Diack.

Within days, a decision at the highest level in Adidas was taken to terminate the relationship.

It is understood the German multinational believes the doping revelations in Pound's reports constitute a breach of its agreement with the IAAF.

The 11-year sponsorship deal was signed in 2008 and was due to run until 2019. At the time of signing, it was reported the deal would be worth about $33m (£23m).

But sources have told the BBC the figure is much higher, and that in terms of cash and product, it is worth about $8m (£5.6m) per year. This would mean the projected lost revenue for the IAAF over the next four years will be more than $30m (£21m).

It is not clear yet whether the IAAF will attempt to challenge the decision in court, although lawyers within Adidas are understood to be preparing for such a move.

The withdrawal of Adidas will come as a major blow to the sport - and to IAAF president Coe - in a time of unprecedented turmoil.

Coe succeeded Diack in August last year and has come under pressure over Pound's report, which said the IAAF - of which Coe was one of four vice-presidents under Diack for seven years - must have been aware of the corruption.

But despite this, Dick Pound voiced his support for Coe, saying he "couldn't think of anyone better" to lead athletics out of its current crisis.

The Wada reports on state sponsored doping as well as a French criminal investigation into corruption - which is also looking into the awarding of every World Championships since 2007, including London's successful bid to host the event in 2017 - have left the sport facing an Olympic year with major reputational damage to repair.

It now seems Adidas believes there is too much reputational risk to its brand to continue its association with the IAAF.

Adidas has also expressed its displeasure at the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa, although it remains world football's governing body's oldest commercial partner.

Scrapping records would taint clean athletes: Coe

PARIS - IAAF president Sebastian Coe said he was reluctant to scrap all world records in track and field for fear of tainting clean athletes.

IAAF's President Sebastian Coe, pictured on January 14, 2016, tells AFP that sweeping away existing records would harm athletes competing without resorting to doping

In an interview with AFP, Coe admitted that some records, notably in women's disciplines, were not legitimate.

But to sweep away existing records would harm athletes competing without resorting to doping, he said.

Athletics finds itself mired in arguably its worst ever crisis, with reports by the World Anti-Doping Agency alleging corruption was "embedded" in the sport's world governing body, the IAAF.

Russia has been banned over state-sponsored doping, with top IAAF officials found guilty of bribing doped athletes.

In the wake of the doping-linked corruption scandal, Britain's athletics federation called for a raft of policy changes including "resetting the clock on world records for a new era".

"We should be open to do whatever it takes to restore credibility in the sport," UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said last week.

While agreeing there should be debate, Coe hesitated when asked if he backed a total rescinding of records.

"I have a concern of course, like anybody else who's come through the sport, that some records are more secure and safer than others," said Coe, who won two Olympic 1500m gold medals for Britain.

"We know that through systems that have in the past, as a matter of historic record, produced athletes that have probably not done this legitimately.

"That's a very different thing from penalising clean athletes who have gone about this over half of their young lives, with clean coaches and clean federations."

Coe added: "You have to be very careful here. I can understand the frustration.

"I know there are records on the book which are a real inhibitor, particularly in some of the female events, for athletes... in thinking that there isn't any reasonable hope that they're going to get within records that were set 30 or 40 years ago."

But Coe also gave his backing to clean athletes.

"I welcome the debate. I also understand the nervousness amongst clean athletes who legitimately hold records that could run the risk of just losing their history and actually the implication that they weren't doing it cleanly," he said.

"There is absolutely a debate to be had but we have to tread carefully here."

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba and Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk set new world records for the women's 1500m and hammer throw respectively last season.

But those were a comparative rarity, with many of the existing records dating back to the 1980s and 90s and seemingly well out of reach for the modern crop of top athletes.

Any corruption in the bidding process for the 2017 World Athletics Championships will be identified and dealt with, says IAAF boss Lord Coe.

London won the right to host the event but UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner says he was told that competitors Qatar were offering bribes to IAAF officials.

"If anything comes out of that nature, then clearly all those bids will be called in," Coe told BBC Radio 5 live.

"In a bidding process, every sport has rumour piled upon rumour."

London won the 2017 vote 10-6 in November 2011. Qatari capital Doha was subsequently named as host for the 2019 event in November 2014. Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in either bid.

A World Anti-Doping Agency independent report published on Thursday found that "corruption was embedded" within the International Association of Athletics Federations, the sport's world governing body.

Coe became IAAF president in August after eight years as vice-president.

A French criminal investigation into Coe's predecessor, Lamine Diack, and other leading IAAF officials is looking at whether there was any financial wrongdoing in bids for seven World Athletics Championships from 2009 onwards.

Co-author of the Wada report Richard McLaren said he suspected bribes might have been paid, adding "we don't know that for sure - that's why we want a further investigation and the police are pursuing that".

Wada report: Three things learned from doping scandal

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek, Warner said that the night before the 2017 vote a senior IAAF official told him that Qataris were offering bribes in brown envelopes in return for support.

Warner, who has said London's bid was "completely by the book", felt the allegation was "quite shocking" but he "dismissed it".

However, he claims that, on the morning of the bid, "certain members of the IAAF and senior people at the IAAF were telling us that we were behind because the Qataris had promised to pay the $7.2m (£5m) prize money, which otherwise the IAAF would have had to pay".

Warner said the London bid decided to match that offer and "we were told that was the decisive swing factor".

He added: "I welcome any investigation into all the bidding processes because I would love to believe it was a level playing field. If it wasn't, there needs to be some recompense."

Coe said he did not know the identity of the senior IAAF official who spoke to Warner on the night before the 2017 vote.

Warner said he would tell Coe who it was after Sunday's Sportsweek broadcast finished.

Coe added: "The French police are looking at this and I have already implemented a review of our financial, marketing and sponsorship arrangements within the IAAF."

In a wide-ranging interview, Coe also said public trust in athletics might not return until "way beyond" his four-year term as IAAF president.

UK Athletics’ Ed Warner told Qatar used brown envelopes in 2017 bid

 Chairman was informed IAAF Council members may have been bribed 
 London won battle for World Championships after paying for $7.2m prize fund
Sebastian Coe
 Sebastian Coe said he will look into allegations that Qatar tried to bribe IAAF members before the 2017 vote. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Sean Ingle

Sunday 17 January 2016 07.37 ESTLast modified on Sunday 17 January 201619.40 EST

Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, has revealed a senior IAAF official warned him that Qatari officials were handing out brown envelopes on the eve of the vote for the 2017 world championships. London won the rights to host the event ahead of Doha after UKA agreed to stump up $7.2m to cover prize money but Warner wants an investigation into the bidding process to see whether its money can be recovered.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek, Warner said: “The night before the bid a very senior person in the IAAF hierarchy told me and my bid team that they understood certain members of the IAAF Council were being called upstairs one by one to a hotel suite to be given a brown envelope.

“It was quite shocking to hear it and my message to our bid team was: ‘Just ignore that. We are London, we do it the British way. We have no brown envelopes – even if we did, we’d have nothing to stuff into them. Let’s focus on our lobbying.’

“It seemed incredible to me at the time and so I dismissed it but subsequently we have heard that Papa Diack, Lamine Diack’s son, apparently was asking for $5m from Qatar to support their bid – they were our competitors for the 2017 championships.”

The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, has promised to investigate the claims of bribery in the bidding process but Warner believes that, if the process was fair, the London bid might have saved itself $7.2m.

Warner said: “Very specifically, on the morning of the bid, council members of the IAAF and senior people at the IAAF were telling us that we were behind, and we were behind because the Qataris had promised to pay the $7.2m prize fund for the athlete prize money which otherwise the IAAF itself would have to pay.”

“They were saying to us: ‘Look, you have got to match that offer.’ We had the room within our budget. It was something we had up our sleeve. We were wondering whether to play that card. We decided to play it, we won and we are told that was a decisive swing factor.


“I look back at it now and I think: ‘Did I have to make that money available? Have I had to spend $7.2m?’ But if I was up against a bid that in any way, shape or form wasn’t straight, then really I should have that money back, so I welcome any investigation into all the bidding processes because I would love to believe it was a level playing field. I hope it was for the sake of the IAAF and for athletics but, if it wasn’t, then there needs to be some recompense.”

Last week Warner, who was also the chairman of the London 2017 organising committee, insisted their bid had nothing to hide amid the IAAF scandal being investigated by French prosecutors.

The former IAAF president Lamine Diack has been questioned by those investigators, who also want to talk to his son, Papa Massata.

Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in its bids for either the 2017 championships or the 2019 championships, which it will host. However the Guardian revealed in December 2014 that Papa Massata Diack, the IAAF marketing consultant who is now subject to an international arrest warrant, had apparently requested a payment of almost $5m from Qatar at a time when it was bidding for the world championships and the Olympics. He denied making any such request.

Lord Coe, asked if he was aware of the claims, said he was not but promised to look into them. He said: “The French prosecutors are looking at this. I have already implemented a review of our financial, our marketing and our sponsorship arrangements within the IAAF, so if anything comes out of that nature, then clearly all those bids will be called in.”

Sebastian Coe’s flaws mean he is the wrong man to clean up athletics

IAAF president Lord CoeIAAF president Lord Coe Getty Images

There can be no better metaphor for sport’s slide into the sewer than the prospect of athletes being obliged to compete in polluted, faeces-infused water in Rio de Janeiro this summer, during an Olympic Games that will be blighted by ethical and financial bankruptcy.

The ordeal faced by sailors, rowers and canoeists is all too real, but the symbolism is perfect. The diligent, principled competitor has been betrayed by the system for years, and will continue to be compromised because the status quo survives thoughtlessly, needlessly.

Nothing changed, fundamentally, when detailed allegations of institutionalised bribery, complicity, deception and extortion in athletics were confirmed. Sebastian Coe survived as IAAF president despite contradictions, inconsistencies and casual recrafting of history.

This, remember, is the leader of a “failed organisation” whose denial of a doping cover-up was abject and aggressive. Yet, suddenly, pragmatism purifies him in the eyes of those who choose to misrepresent him as a victim of a media mugging. The need to rally around someone, anything, justifies  a PR strategy based on selective  grandstanding and expedient,  long-overdue contrition. 

The “reputational recovery” defined by Dick Pound, whose strident voice broke through the sycophancy of such dismal cheerleaders as Paula Radcliffe before it faltered, to counter-intuitively excuse Coe as athletics’ best hope, will be long and difficult for a sport stripped of credibility and unworthy of trust. 

Anti-doping chief backs Seb Coe to lead athletics reforms

There was a powerful case for track and field to be excluded entirely from the Rio Olympics. I do not doubt Coe’s emotional allegiance to a sport he graced in a previous generation, but will only believe in him if he has the foresight and intestinal fortitude to insist Russian athletes remain banned when the Games start, on 5 August. 

Coe will require previously unappreciated moral courage, and a more acute understanding of the undercurrent of disgust, to resist pressure applied by the IOC, which has sponsors to assuage and multi-billion TV contracts to fulfil. He must address the perception that he sees doping as a news-management issue, rather than an existential challenge.

Fail in that duty and he will be forever tainted as a failure in the eyes  of those who matter most, clean athletes who somehow find the inner inspiration to endure the advantages offered to those who take the easy way out, and cheat. 

They are not given the luxury of leeway, since they are expected to randomly prove their innocence by providing urine samples whenever and wherever the drug testers choose. Ignorance, an apparent asset for some administrators, cannot be used as an all-too convenient excuse. 

They are expected to remain pristine, while those who supposedly protect their interests pillage and lunder. They are robbed of medals and prize money, and abandoned at the scene of the crime, since the principal aim of too many policemen is to safeguard the criminal.

Russians do not have exclusivity in duplicity, though evidence of the systemic nature of deception in such an opaque superpower suggests it will take more than six months to affect meaningful change. The process of rehabilitation has barely begun; as Travis Tygart, Lance Armstrong’s nemesis, has pointed out, there is  no viable testing agency and the  attitude towards whistleblowers remains vengeful. 

Closer to home, UK Athletics will rely heavily on Coe to foster the florid myth that next year’s World Championships in London will signal the start of a new, clean era. Unless and until transparency is established, the default position with athletics will remain cynicism, rather than hope.  

Optimism is unsustainable, since sport at the elite level is rotting from the head down. Within 24 hours of Pound’s report into athletics, doping cases were reported in France and Nigeria; attention was directed to malfeasance in Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, Spain and Ukraine.

South Africa was convulsed by allegations that domestic T20 cricket has a pervasive culture of match fixing. Arsène Wenger returned to the issue of doping in football, an impeccably timed gesture of defiance which may prove to be prescient. Any sporting activity awash with money is a Pandora’s box of entrenched temptation, self-interest and illicit reward. 

Power is rarely acquired smoothly, or by those unsullied by suspicion. Fifa should, by rights, be disbanded; the likelihood is it will soon be led by Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, who denies accusations by human-rights activists that he and his family were responsible for the torture and imprisonment of pro-democracy protesters.

The Olympics are the platform on which to make a stand, since they have historically been used as a battlefield, by proxy. They represent the warped political ideal of nationhood, in which medals and anthems are symbols of virility, to be flaunted at geographical or ideological enemies.


    They, and events of similar magnitude, like football’s World Cup, sustain a counter-culture of sleaze, in which bribes are paid, either overtly, or as “gifts” offered during easily corrupted bidding processes for hosting, broadcasting or marketing rights.

    Too many unaccountable individuals operate in the shadows, and it is inevitable that successive scandals sap the spirit. Faith cannot be regained by empty gestures, such as scrapping the record books. It must be rebuilt by hard, unselfish decisions, taken for the common good, instead of the vested interests of a myopic elite.

    Sports cannot be truly trusted to oversee their activities, since the instinct of insiders is to defend the citadel, rather than clean its streets. Those who highlight the fetid mess which has been allowed to accumulate are regarded as enemies, rather than allies.

    A new model, driven by the investigative rigour of law-enforcement agencies and monitored by a principled, resourceful media, needs to be developed, so that appropriate checks and balances are in place. 

    Can Coe respond? Frankly, I doubt it, since his resistance to independent scrutiny is deeply ingrained, and he has demonstrated the flaws of a machine politician. As someone whose belief in sport’s redeeming qualities is ebbing away, being proved wrong will be a relief and a privilege.

    Sebastian Coe admits IAAF is a ‘failed organisation’ but is backed to reform it

     Wada investigators lambast IAAF but endorse Coe’s presidency 
     IAAF council, on which Coe has sat since 2003, ‘collectively did not do its job’

    Sebastian Coe has admitted he presides over a “failed organisation” after theIAAF was subjected to coruscating criticism in a Wada report over its handling of corruption and doping cover-ups that went to the very top of the organisation.

    As it emerged that World Anti-Doping Agency investigators feared the bidding process for every world athletics championships since 2009 may have been corrupted, the report showed the depths to which a cabal containing its former president Lamine Diack, his legal adviser Habib Cissé, his son Papa Massata Diack, the head of the IAAF anti-doping unit Gabriel Dollé and its treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev had sunk.

    The Wada-commissioned report said the IAAF remained in denial about the extent to which officials must have known about the scale of the Russian doping issues. It said there was no way the IAAF council, of which Lord Coe has been a member since 2003, could not have known about “the extent of doping in athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules” or of the nepotism that existed at the IAAF.

    “There was an evident lack of political appetite within the IAAF to confront Russia with the full extent of its known and suspected doping activities,” it said, arguing the IAAF had been too quick to blame corrupt practices on a few bad apples in a series of defensive responses. “The corruption was embedded in the organisation. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributed to the odd renegade acting on his own. The IAAF allowed the conduct to occur and must accept its responsibility.”

    Coe has been under extreme pressure to explain what he knew and when, and the report appeared to back up those who believe he must have been aware of the scale of the problem.

    But his likelihood of withstanding the crisis was hugely boosted when the respected Dick Pound, the former head of Wada who headed the report, backed Coe to sort out the malaise that has brought athletics to its knees.

    “I think it’s a fabulous responsibility for the IAAF to seize this opportunity and, under strong leadership, to move forward,” said Pound, as Coe looked on at a press conference in Munich.

    “There’s an enormous amount of reputational recovery that needs to occur here and I can’t think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that.” He said Coe “was a member of a council that collectively did not do its job” but it would be wrong to lay its failure at the feet of one individual.

    The report heavily criticises Nick Davies, Coe’s chief of staff, who stood down in December after an email emerged that showed he was in contact with the IAAF marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack over how to time the release of failed Russian drug tests in 2013.

    The first part of the Wada report, published in November, laid out systemic state sponsored doping on a huge scale in Russia and this second part dealt in more detail with the cover-ups and corruption at the IAAF that facilitated it.

    It revealed that Lamine Diack, who was the IAAF president for 18 years, effectively headed a shadow operation run by his son Papa Massata and Cissé.

    Revisiting how they subverted the anti-doping process and extorted money from the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, it also included the detail that Lamine Diack told the IAAF’s legal chief, Huw Roberts, that the delay in sanctioning Russian athletes had put him in a “difficult position” that could only be resolved through his friendship with Vladimir Putin.

    After watching Pound endorse his presidency as he battles to retain confidence in his ability to revive the sport, Coe cut a more contrite figure. “We are a failed organisation. I’m sorry if my language has in any way demonstrated a sort of a lack of understanding about the depth of this,” he said.


    There will be more pain to come, after the French prosecutor Éliane Houletteissued an Interpol arrest notice for Papa Massata Diack, who is in his native Senegal, and it emerged its investigation would extend to a slew of sponsorship deals and bidding races as well as the doping extortion issues. Richard McClaren, one of the three members of the Independent Commission, said there was compelling information that the bidding processes for every world championships since 2009 and up to 2019 in Doha deserved further scrutiny.

    The Guardian revealed in December 2014 that Papa Massata Diack had requested almost $5m from Qatar at a time when it was bidding to host the 2017 world championships.

    “We have information, we don’t have hard evidence. But it’s enough information that it bears serious investigation. It needs to be investigated,” he said. “The process by which those decisions were made, who made them, why did they make them and why did other cities not get selected.”

    The report also revealed how a Russian bank upped its sponsorship contribution from $6m to $25m overnight following a meeting in Moscow in 2013.

    The Wada Commission did however vindicate the IAAF over claims that it failed to follow up hundreds of suspicious blood values. “The key finding is that the database used by ARD and the Sunday Times could not have been used to prosecute athletes for doping violations prior to the establishment of the Athlete Blood Passport in 2009,” it said.

    Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world record holder whose name was revealed as being one of those on the database, said the report vindicated her and proved there was “no substance” to the claims.

    “The findings that the independent commission gave was that there was no substance to the very damaging allegations made by the Sunday Times and the Australian scientists Dr Ashenden and Perisotto,” she argued. “That they acted on incomplete data, which was what was said, and they drew conclusions that couldn’t be drawn without having the full context available.”

    Exclusive: IAAF in hunt for $25 million sponsorship payment from Russian bank

    • By Nick Butler at the Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim
    •  Friday, 15 January 2016

    Sebastian Coe has promised to investigate revelations within the WADA Report ©Getty Images

    International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has promised to investigate the whereabouts of a sponsorship worth $25 million (£17 million/€23 million) supposedly paid to the world governing body by a Russian bank. 

    According to the report published yesterday by World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission, the payment from VTB Bank was made in 2012 following a meeting between officials including Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President, Lamine, All Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balaknichev and an unnamed Russian television advisor.

    The $25 million sponsorship deal was reportedly because Lamine Diack was unhappy that Russian television had paid only $6 million (£5.5 million/€4 million) to screen the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. 

    "If the foregoing information on the awarding of the Championships and the sponsorship agreement is true; then, the IAAF should undertake a forensic examination of the relationship and how the rights were awarded to determine whether there were any improprieties," claimed the Commission.

    The IAAF are, as of yet, unable to account for the payments, but Coe has confirmed to insidethegames that they will investigate.

    The suspicion is a large proportion of the money was pocketed by the Diacks. 

    The $25 million payment from VTB Bank was allegedly arranged because IAAF President Lamine Diack was unhappy with the small amount that Russian televison was paying to broadcast the 2013 World Championships ©Getty ImagesThe $25 million payment from VTB Bank was allegedly arranged because IAAF President Lamine Diack was unhappy with the small amount that Russian televison was paying to broadcast the 2013 World Championships ©Getty Images

    "The review that I'm currently undertaking within the organisation is looking at all our sponsorship and marketing deals," he said.

    Their accounts are currently being investigated by professional services company Deloitte in conjunction with leading legal firm Freshfields.

    Paul Deighton, who worked alongside Coe at London 2012 as chief executive, has been appointed to oversee the review.

    insidethegames understands that the world governing body do not currently feel confident enough in the validity of their accounts - which are not released publicly - to draw conclusions until the investigation is complete.

    VB Bank, majority-owned by the Russian Government, claim the payment was not connected to television rights and have denied any wrongdoing.

    This comes as part of WADA's investigation into corruption within the IAAF, with a cabal of officials around President Diack accused of involvement in a blackmail plot wherein they accepted bribes in return for covering up Russian doping.

    Coe is not directly accused of any awareness of this plot, although he was a member of the IAAF Council which, the report concludes, must have had some awareness of what was going on.

    Paul Deighton (left), pictured alongside Sebastian Coe during London 2012, is assisting the IAAF ©Getty ImagesPaul Deighton (left), pictured alongside Sebastian Coe during London 2012, is assisting the IAAF ©Getty Images

    There is no direct suggestion that the VB Bank payment was connected to the doping cover-ups, although the report does conclude that there was a connection between earlier broadcasting rights deals in return for muting the discovery of positive samples.

    They have "insufficient information" to comment further.

    The main fear in relation to the 2012 payment, however, relates to whether the money ended up in the IAAF accounts, or whether it was embezzled elsewhere.

    Papa Diack and Balaknichev, also a former IAAF treasurer, are two of three officials to have been banned for life by the IAAF Ethics Commission last week for involvement in the blackmail plot.

    Lamine Diack has also been arrested as part of a French criminal investigation into the allegations, while an arrest warrant has been released by Interpol for Papa's arrest.

    Analysis And Reaction To Part 2 Of The WADA Independent Commission Report: Dick Pound’s Puzzling Endorsement Of Seb Coe, Looking For Heroes And Where Was The “Wow Factor”?

     Email this page

    by LetsRun.com
    January 14, 2016

    On Thursday, the WADA Independent Commission (IC), chaired by Dick Pound and also including Richard McLarenand Gunter Younger, released part two of its investigation into the IAAF, which detailed corruption at the highest levels of the organization. After delivering a summary of the report’s key findings, Pound answered questions from the media in Munich as well those dialing in from overseas.

    The report confirmed that former IAAF president Lamine Diack was complicit in a bribery/extortion scheme to cover up positive doping tests and that and he used his power as president to install an informal illegitimate governance structure within the IAAF, inserting his legal adviser Habib Cissé and sons Papa Massata Diack andKhalil Diack into positions of influence.

    Paradoxically, while the report stated that “the IAAF Council could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in Athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules,” Pound staunchly stood by and supported IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

    “There’s an enormous amount of reputational recovery that needs to occur here and I can’t think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that,” Pound said.

    There’s a lot to unpack. You can read the entire 95-page IC report here, but if you don’t have a few hours to wade through it, we’ve summarized some of the key facts and the key findings below. If you don’t even have time for that, we suggest you scroll down and read our 3 key takeaways from the report.

    • It wasn’t just a few bad apples: “the corruption was [e]mbedded in the organization.” The IC’s report made clear that this was not just a Diack problem, but an IAAF problem, and the only way to move on is to accept that fact. “It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on his own,” the report read. “The IAAF allowed the conduct to occur and must accept its responsibility. Continued denial will simply make it more difficult to make genuine progress.”
      In a Sky News interview on Wednesday, Coe said: “Was there a cover-up? No. In Munich on Thursday, Pound urged Coe to move on.“Of course there was a cover-up, a delay and all sorts of things,” Pound said. “Acknowledge this. If you can’t acknowledge this, you’re never going to get past it.” Hours after Pound’s comments, Coe backtracked from his initial statement. “We are not in denial,” he told Sky News. “We know this has been a cover-up. The delays were a cover-up.”
    • The IC urged the IAAF to better support whistleblowers. Considering whistleblowers Yulia and Vitaly Stepanovwere the ones who helped unearth this whole crisis, it’s staggering that the IAAF has not been more welcoming toward the couple, who remain in hiding with young son Robert after fleeing Russia. The IC recommended “that the IAAF publicly recognize the assistance provided by the whistleblowers in establishing the facts of corruption in Russian athletics and offer any necessary support in their relocation and employment” and “that the IAAF offer encouragement and assistance to whistleblowers in matters of doping and other corruption.”
    • Nepotism/Cronyism let this happen. Lamine Diack was able to put his legal advisor Habib Cissé into the results management process of doping positives at the IAAF and put his sons in prominent marketing positions associated with the IAAF. Thus, the opportunity for corruption related to anti-doping and even the awarding of World Championships and sponsorships was created.
    • The IAAF’s response to the accusations leveled by Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto in the Sunday Times/ARD investigation was validated. The IC concluded that with regard to the database of blood values leaked to the Sunday Times/ARD last summer, the IAAF followed up on suspicious values in the proper manner and that there is no way the IAAF could have issued sanctions based on the values in the database. The IC validated the IAAF’s response (issued in November 2015) and praised the IAAF for leading the way in the use of the Athlete Biological Passport program. The WADA expert group, concluded, the “frequency of the IAAF’s response to atypical blood samples was commendable.”
    • The Russians were great at cheating the old doping system, but did not know how to evade the new Biological Passport system. Thus, Lamine Diack put his legal advisor Habib Cissé into the chain of command on managing the doping results for Russians within the IAAF and the corruption began with anti-doping.
    • It’s worth looking into the bidding processes of the upcoming World Championships and IAAF sponsorships.Papa Massata Diack was alleged to have solicited a $5 million payment from Doha during bidding for the 2017 World Championships. The IC wrote that “there may be reason to believe that senior IAAF officials and others acting on their behalf may have benefitted from decisions of the IAAF to award certain cities and countries the IAAF Athletics World Championships.” With regard to the 2013 Moscow Worlds, the IC also recommended that“the IAAF should undertake a forensic examination of the relationship and how the rights were awarded to determine whether there were any improprieties.”
    • The report did not address corruption in Kenyan anti-doping, but says more needs to be done in Kenya. Many wondered if the report would address corruption allegations within the Kenyan Federation. It did not. Kenya was only mentioned once in the report. It said that Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Kenya and Morocco all presented “both a high prevalence of (suspected) blood doping and the practical difficulties of conducting OOC testing in those countries” and called for the IAAF “to shift the onus for whereabouts requirements and effective out-of-competition testing with respect to countries having been designated as high risk, such that those countries must be able, as a condition of eligibility, to demonstrate to the comfortable satisfaction of the IAAF compliance commission that no impediments exist.”

    So there you have all of the details. Now our three takeaways.



    1) Where was the ‘Wow factor’?

    After issuing part one of the report in November 2015, Pound promised that the second part would deliver a “wow factor.” So where was it? Granted, when Pound said that, some of the information contained in the report — including the leaked email between Nick Davies and Papa Massata Diack — had not yet been made public. But very little of the information contained in the report was shocking. The corruption went all the way to the top? Not a surprise considering the numerous allegations that have been made against Lamine Diack and his son over the past year. The IAAF’s response to the Sunday Times/ARD investigation was validated? Good for the IAAF, but there’s no shock value there.

    In fact, the only thing that made us say “wow” today was not contained in the report. It was Pound’s comments to the media, when he heartily endorsed Coe as IAAF president despite the report’s declaration that the IAAF Council had to know about the corruption.

    2) For Pound to roundly criticize the IAAF Council while issuing a ringing endorsement for Coe was baffling.

    After issuing part one of the report in November, many viewed Dick Pound as the man to hold the biggest figures in the sport accountable. But his position on Coe today created confusion and spread doubt among track and field fans and journalists. The IC report states “the IAAF Council could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in Athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules,” yet Pound couldn’t have been more supportive of Coe during the press conference and named Coe as the best man for the job of leading the IAAF. As mentioned above, Pound said, “There’s an enormous amount of reputational recovery that needs to occur here and I can’t think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that.” In our minds, looking the other way on doping and leading the IAAF are incompatible (plus when one factors in that when Coe was the head of the FIFA Ethics Commission in 2007, he failed to uncover the corruption that has been coming out recently, Coe has a lot of explaining to do).

    When Pound was questioned about this contradiction, he responded:

    “I don’t want to lay the failures of an entire council and the lack of a proper governance process at the feet of one individual. I don’t think that would be fair in the circumstances nor organizationally responsive. I think you learn from experience and as they say, experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. We did this in the IOC as you may recall 15 years or so ago, we had some very bad experience and governance failures. We took on-board the fact that that was our fault and that we had to solve it and we did. And I think we’ve come out the other side. I’m sure that with all the best of goodwill in the world, if athletics wants to do that for the benefit of its sport, it will find a way to do it.”

    Later, he was asked whether he thought Coe was lying about not knowing about the doping in Russia.

    “I do not believe so,” Pound said. “I think you’ve got to understand the concentration of power in and around the president of any international federation and the relative infrequence with which something like the IAAF Council would meet and the level of information that would be conveyed from those at the top to the council, particularly if it happened to deal with problems.”

    Still, Pound’s comments did little to restore faith in the sport and if anything led to more confusion.


    IAAF considered hiding Russian drug bans before London 2012

     IAAF feared Russians at risk of dying because of doping levels 
     42% of tested Russian elite athletes were doping in 2012, estimates showed
    Sebastian Coe
     Sebastian Coe, the IAAF president, will come under renewed pressure after revelations about hiding Russian doping bans. Photograph: Artyom Korotayev/TASS/Corbis

    Owen Gibson

    Tuesday 12 January 2016 15.53 ESTLast modified on Tuesday 12 January 201619.55 EST

    The IAAF considered hiding Russian doping bans from the public before London 2012 and recognised that more than 42% of all tested elite athletes from the country were cheating in the latest revelations to assail the tattered credibility of world athletics.

    Internal documents obtained by the Associated Press also show that as far back as 2009 the International Association of Athletics Federations knew Russia’s doping problem was so deeply entrenched it feared athletes were at risk of killing themselves through the use of EPO and blood transfusions.

    “This matter of the Russian athletes’ blood levels is now so serious and is not getting any better (in fact possibly getting worse) that immediate and drastic action is needed,” Pierre Weiss, then the IAAF general secretary, wrote in a 14 October 2009 hand-delivered letter to Valentin Balakhnichev, the Russian athletics president banned last week for life from the sport.

    “Not only are these athletes cheating their fellow competitors but at these levels are putting their health and even their own lives in very serious danger,” wrote Weiss, telling Balakhnichev that blood results from Russian athletes “recorded some of the highest values ever seen since the IAAF started testing”.

    Tests conducted at the 2009 world championships, where Russia won 13 medals, “strongly suggest a systematic abuse of blood doping or EPO-related products,” Weiss added. It was not until November 2015, following the independent report by Dick Pound commissioned after an explosive ARD documentary, that Russia was banned from competition for state sponsored doping.

    The latest revelations will only increase the pressure on the IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, before Pound unveils the second part of his report into systemic doping in Russia and related corruption at the IAAF on Thursday.

    The source that leaked the documents believed they show some anti-doping officials did their best to do all they could to keep Russian cheats from competing. But they also show that many senior IAAF officials knew there was a major problem for at least six years and spent much of that time trying to cajole Russia into doing something about it.

    An internal briefing in September 2012 for Lamine Diack, IAAF president at the time, estimated 42% of tested Russian elite athletes doped. Suspected doping in Turkey, Spain, Morocco and Ukraine also “is particularly worrying”, it said.

    The IAAF confirmed to AP that the letters were genuine. The IAAF spokesman, Chris Turner, said they were a “clear, open warning” and insisted the IAAF has been “very strong” in dealing with Russia.

    By 2011, two years after its launch, the IAAF’s “blood passport” testing regime was starting to flag so many suspected Russian dopers that officials explored the idea of breaking their own rules and those of the World Anti-Doping Agency by dealing with some cases privately.

    The notes proposed a twin track approach. The best known elite Russian athletes most likely to win medals in London would be banned in the normal manner but there would be a “rapid and discreet” handling of second-tier cases for less well-known athletes whose sudden disappearance from competition would likely pass unnoticed.

    For those athletes who agreed to the deal, the IAAF would in turn “undertake not to publish the sanction,” which would be shortened to two years from four, according to a note on 5 December 2011.

    “These measures concern athletes without titles or major results. Their withdrawal from competition wouldn’t necessarily attract attention,” said a follow-up April 10, 2012, briefing note for Diack, marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.”

    The IAAF says the proposals were never put into practice. Balakhnichev told the AP they also never reached him. “There were no secret bans. At least I didn’t know and didn’t hear about there being any,” said the Russian.

    Turner said the December 2011 note was sent by the IAAF’s anti-doping director at the time, Gabriel Dollé, to Habib Cissé, who was Diack’s legal counsel. The follow-up note in 2012 was from Dollé to Diack, Turner said.

    Last week Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine, and Dollé, head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit, were banned for their part in a scheme to cover up doping violations and extort money from the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shubokhova.

    That report, by the IAAF’s ethics commission, showed how Cissé took over the management of all Russian blood profiles in 2011 in a move described as “unusual and inappropriate” by IAAF senior anti-doping official Thomas Capdevielle.

    The IAAF said a colleague of Dollé’s in the anti-doping department objected at the time to the proposed non-disclosure of bans and was assured by Dollé that sanctions would be published “which they were”.


    An IAAF spokesman said: “Every suspicious ABP profile was investigated in full accordance with IAAF Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code. All confirmed doping cases were publically sanctioned. Nothing was covered up.”

    In December, Coe’s chief of staff Nick Davies was forced to stand down pending an ethics committee investigation into leaked emails that showed he discussed the possibility of managing the release of Russian bans to avoid negative publicity around the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

    In his report last November, Pound revealed Russian doping on an industrial scale and said the London 2012 Olympics had been “sabotaged” by cheating and collusion. After Pound presents the second part of his explosive report in Munich on Thursday, the French prosecutor in charge of a criminal probe into corruption claims will also face the media.

    French police arrested Lamine Diack last year amid allegations that he pocketed more than 1m euros to cover up doping cases, along with Cissé and Dollé. They also said Papa Massata Diack would be arrested if he set foot in France.

    IAAF should have acted quicker to deal with "19th century" governance structure, claims Pound

    Richard Pound has criticised the IAAF for not taking quicker action to sort-out governance issues ©Getty Images

    International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) officials, including the body's current President Sebastian Coe, should have acted quicker to remedy problems in the organisation, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Independent Commission Richard Pound has claimed.

    The Canadian claimed Coe and other officials, including senior IAAF vice-president Sergey Bubka, could have changed elements of the world governing body's outdated governance structure, even if they had not directly known about the alleged wrongdoing of Coe's Presidential predecessor, Lamine Diack.

    Diack was arrested in November in a French police investigation after claims he was involved in accepting bribes from Russia to cover-up failed doping cases.

    Pound cited the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Salt Lake City corruption scandal in 1998 to outline the importance of pre-empting problems.

    “Coe and Bubka were there,” Pound told The Times.

    “It’s easy enough if you want to get a governance review.

    "They had a [19th-century] constitution in a 21st-century organisation.

    "They had an opportunity a long time ago to address issues of governance, and you saw from the IOC what happens if you don’t do that - you get your t**s in the wringer.

    “It’s easy [to change things] in a generalised way without attacking who’s sitting as President.

    "I’d have thought they’d say, ‘It’s 2015, we should be doing something’."

    Richard Pound's words come after three IAAF officials were handed life bans for covering up doping failures by Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova ©Getty ImagesRichard Pound's words come after three IAAF officials were handed life bans for covering up doping failures by Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova ©Getty Images

    Pound has, however, praised the IAAF for the speed in which they banned Russia once the WADA Commission presented their verdict of systemic and state-supported doping within Russian athletics.

    Under Coe's stewardship, he believes they acted with “surprisingly little difficulty and a fair amount of speed”.

    The IAAF Ethics Commission banned three people yesterday:  Diack's son, former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack, as well as ex-IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev and long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.

    They have been "guilty of blackmail" since 2011, it was concluded.

    Former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé has also been handed a five-year ban.

    The quartet were being charged in relation to payments totalling approximately £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) made by Russia's Liliya Shobukhova, the 2010 London Marathon winner and a three-time Chicago Marathon champion, in order to cover-up doping violations. 

    The Ethics Commission also ruled that similar activity also "potentially" took place in other countries, including Morocco and Turkey.

    Balakhnichev, previously the Soviet national athletics coach from 1978 to 1984, told Russian news agencyTASS that the IAAF decision was "politicised" and aimed at discrediting the entirety of Russian sport. 

    "Some forces have decided to increase pressure on the Russian sport by taking such a radical decision," he added, claiming he may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko appears to have quashed any prospect of this, however.

    He told R-Sport today that the verdict against Balakhnichev had been "expected" and that there was "no sense" in an appeal.

    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko appears to have quashed any chance of an appeal by former IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev  ©Getty ImagesRussian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko appears to have quashed any chance of an appeal by former IAAF treasurer and All-Russian Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev ©Getty Images

    Pound, the longest-serving current member of the IOC who was the founding WADA President, speculated that the IAAF deliberately released their verdict ahead of the second part of the WADA Independent Commission report, due to be published at a press conference in Munich next Thursday (January 14). 

    “My guess is [the IAAF] have anticipated our report,” he told The Times.

    “If they want to get in front, that’s fine.

    "I don’t care how we get a solution, as long as we do.

    "If they feel good by saying, ‘We already agreed to do that’, the fact is they only agreed because of these revelations.”

    IAAF deny they tried to cover-up Russian doping cases before London 2012

    Yuliya Zaripova, winner of the 3,000m steeplechase at London 2012, is among Russian athletes who face being stripped of their Olympic medals ©Getty Images

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were tonight forced to deny allegations they considered hiding drugs cases involving Russian athletes from the public before the 2012 Olympic Games in London. 

    Documents published by Associated Press claimed to show that in 2011 there were so many Russians suspected of doping due to results obtained via their athlete biological passport (APB) that the IAAF considered adopting a “rapid and discreet” approach to the problem.

    This meant that athletes suspected of doping not among the top tier of competitors would be dealt with privately and their sanction would be cut from four years to two if they agreed to the deal. 

    The suspension would also not be publicised, according to an internal IAAF memo dated December 5, 2011 sent from its anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé, to Habib Cissé, Diack’s legal counsel. 

    “These measures concern athletes without titles or major results. Their withdrawal from competition wouldn’t necessarily attract attention,” said a follow-up briefing note dated April 10, 2012, sent by Dollé to then-IAAF President Lamine Diack and marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.”

    IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé reportedly sent a note to then-President Lamine Diack suggesting a two-tier approach when it came to dealing with Russian athletes who had positive for banned drugs ©Getty ImagesIAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé reportedly sent a note to then-President Lamine Diack suggesting a two-tier approach when it came to dealing with Russian athletes who had positive for banned drugs ©Getty Images

    Diack was last year arrested as part of a French police investigation amid allegations he was involved in an extortion plot in which money was accepted in return for tests involving Russian athletes being covered up.

    His son, Papa Massata Diack, a former consultant with the IAAF, was last week banned for life by the world governing body's Ethics Commission for his role in trying to extort money from the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shubokhova.

    Dollé received five years for his part in the scheme after the Ethics Commission decided his "sins were those of omission, not commission".

    A spokesman for the IAAF, however, tonight claimed that there were no secret bans. 

    "Every suspicious ABP profile was investigated in full accordance with IAAF Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code," he said. 

    "All confirmed doping cases were publically sanctioned.

    "Nothing was covered-up.

    "In 2011 there was a huge influx of suspicious profiles coming through the ABP.

    "Each case takes an average of eight months to 18 months from investigation to sanction.

    "There was a need to prioritise, and in particular to expedite those cases which involved potential medal winners ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

    "No cases were concealed or supressed, the IAAF simply tackled them in order of importance.

    "Every athlete was investigated and has either been sanctioned or is currently going through a legal process as part of being sanctioned."

    Russia finished second overall in the athletics medal table at London 2012 with a total of 17 medals, including eight gold.

    Since then a number of Russians have come under suspicion for doping and face being stripped of their medals.

    They include Sergey Kirdyapkin and Elena Lashmanova, winners of the men's 50 kilometres and women's 20km walks.

    Both were banned for two years shortly afterwards.

    The IAAF are now appealing against the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, believing they should be stripped of their gold medals.

    Others being investigated include Mariya Savinova and Yuliya Zaripova, gold medallist in the women's 800 metres and 3,000m steeplechase respectively.  

    Sergey Kirdyapkin won the men's 50 kilometres walk at London 2012 but was banned for two years shortly afterwards - a decision the IAAF are now appealing against ©Getty ImagesSergey Kirdyapkin won the men's 50 kilometres walk at London 2012 but was banned for two years shortly afterwards - a decision the IAAF are now appealing against ©Getty Images

    Former IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev, who was also banned for life by the Ethics Commission, had been reportedly warned in 2009 that there was a major problem with doping in his country.

    According to Associated Press, in October 2009 then-IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss had written a letter to Balakhnichev expressing his concerns.

    “This matter of the Russian athletes’ blood levels is now so serious and is not getting any better (in fact possibly getting worse) that immediate and drastic action is needed,” he wrote. 

    Last month, Nick Davies, the chief of staff of new IAAF President Sebastian Coe, announced he was standing down pending an Ethics Commission investigation into leaked emails that showed he discussed the possibility of managing the release of Russian bans to avoid negative publicity in the build-up to the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. 

    Earlier today, Rune Andersen, independent chairman of the Taskforce set-up by the IAAF to oversee the return of Russia to competition following their suspension, had claimed he believed they were committed to reforming their system. 

    It followed the first visit of the Taskforce to Moscow since the IAAF banned Russia last November after they were accused of state-supported doping in a report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission.

    More revelations could yet emerge about Russia and its relationship with the IAAF when the WADA Independent Commission publishes the second part of its report at a press conference in Munich on Thursday (January 14). 

    Blood samples in a Barcelona freezer could spark biggest ever doping scandal as Operation Puerto resurfaces

    EXCLUSIVE - Somewhere deep in recesses of enormous facility in Barcelona, clock ticking on what may be biggest suppressed doping scandal of all time

    Life appeared to be going on much as normal outside Barcelona’s Biomedical Research Park last week. Doctors in white lab coats emerged periodically to puff on cigarettes. Joggers ran up and down the beachfront promenade across the road, enjoying the early January sun.Somewhere deep in the recesses of the enormous, wood-encased ­facility, though, in a freezer in the anti-doping lab of the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdique, the clock was ticking on what some believe may be one of the biggest suppressed doping scandals of all time.

    In the coming days – it is unclear when exactly but this month – Madrid’s Provincial Court is to release its verdict on the appeals lodged by, among others, the World Anti-Doping Association and the International Cycling Union (UCI) against the destruction of the almost 200 blood bags which have been stored here as part of the Operación Puerto anti-doping probe.To say that the verdict is eagerly anticipated is perhaps over-egging it. Puerto has been going on so long that many people have forgotten all about it. It has been almost 10 years since a series of police raids uncovered, among other paraphernalia, hundreds of bags of blood and plasma in the offices of former cycling doctor Eufemiano Fuentes (or “Dr Blood” as Tyler Hamilton, one of his former clients, called him), and almost three since Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria issued her order to destroy them, handing down a one-year suspended sentence to Fuentes for endangering public health and inviting accusations of a cover-up. In the meantime, the IAAF scandal has assumed prominence, with the second part of ­Wada’s explosive independent report due out this week.

    But the potential for Puerto to blow up into something far bigger, pulling other sports and athletes and administrators into its web, still remains. Just.One man has dedicated most of the past decade of his life trying to ensure that happens. Enrique Gomez Bastida does not look very tough but appearances can be deceptive. A bespectacled Galician of just under 40, Gomez Bastida led the Guardia Civil’s operation in 2006 and, as well as his work in trafficking, has also worked in homicides and kidnappings, and spent six months in Afghanistan. “It was nothing special,” he says. “Standard police work.”

    For the past two years Gomez Bastida has been director of AEPSAD, Spain’s anti-doping agency, in which capacity he is now waiting like the rest of us for the court’s decision. Sitting in his Madrid office in Plaza de Valparaiso, just around the corner from the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, a blue plaque from his time at the Guardia Civil on a shelf behind him, he sighs. “It’s going to be complicated either way,” he predicts of the ruling.

    If the appeals are rejected – theoretically anyway – that would be the end of it. After 10 years and millions of euros, wire taps, police raids and feverish speculation, Puerto’s secrets could be destroyed along with the bags.Almost inevitably that would invite more accusations, like the one from British tennis player Andy Murray at the end of the trial in 2013, that the Spanish authorities just do not want to know. “Case is beyond a joke,” Murray tweeted at the time. “Why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup.”

    Murray was far from alone in criticising Judge Santamaria’s ruling. “It’s embarrassing for Spain,” the former Wada chief Dick Pound said. “Everybody knows we will be able to uncover quite a bit more doping if the examples are made available.”

    The question is, though, what does “quite a bit more doping” look like? And, if the appeals are successful, which other sports might find themselves dragged into the murky waters of Puerto?To date, only cycling has truly been nobbled: 56 riders were implicated in total, although only six served any kind of ban.

    But Fuentes has frequently boasted of, working with athletes from other sports, including football, tennis (hence Murray’s indignation), athletics and boxing.

    If implicated, football clearly carries the potential for a major scandal. Jesus Manzano, the former cyclist whose 2004 interview with the Spanish newspaper AS blew the whistle on Fuentes, said he often saw “well-known” footballers waiting to see the doctor when he went for his red blood cell top-ups, while plenty of clubs are alleged to have worked with him. In 2013, Fuentes even ­issued, via his lawyers, a series of questions he might be prepared to answer. One of the questions was: “How I prepared a team to play in the Champions League”.Some have tried to connect the dots. In 2009 the French newspaper Le Monde was ordered to pay damages to both Real Madrid and Barcelona after claiming to have seen “preparation plans” for the two clubs drawn up by Fuentes.

    Then there is athletics. A promising junior himself, Fuentes worked with Spanish track and field in the Eighties, marrying the former ­Olympic hurdler Cristina Pérez in 1988, shortly after she had tested positive. Pérez gave a rare interview in 2008 in which she described herself as a “Pandora’s Box” which, if opened, “could bring down sport”, hinting darkly at the truth behind Barcelona 1992.

    Whether there is a smoking gun somewhere in those blood bags remains unclear, and even if there is, it is far from certain anything could be done about it. “There are various parties who have appealed separately,” Gomez Bastida explains. “The CSD, Wada, CONI, the fiscalia [public prosecutor], the UCI... And they have appealed various things, not just the release of the blood bags. So first of all we need to know if it’s a ‘yes’ to everyone or just to certain parties, in which case which parties and which parts?“In terms of the blood bags it might be to limit it to straightforward identification of names, or contents. The bags might reveal a whole load more names, different nationalities, which could get very messy. Some of the bags are anonymous and we will never know to whom they belong.”

    On top of which, there is the issue of Wada’s statute of limitations, which could prevent any sort of sporting ban. Wada’s revised 2015 code allows for 10 years to punish athletes guilty of anti-doping rule violations, but that applies only to cases arising from Jan 1, 2015. For cases like Puerto, the old eight-year statute of limitations applies.

    It is understood that Wada’s lawyers are looking into possible ways around this. “There might be occasions or specific circumstances in which the statute of limitations started to run only at the end of a series of violations,” a spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph.Either way, Gomez Bastida appears to be steeling himself for criticism. Spain has long endured a reputation as soft on doping, but Gomez Bastida insists that charge is not only outdated but unfair. “Some­times I think criticism of Puerto is very unjust,” he says. “ There have been [allegations] the Spanish authorities are trying to hide something but the judicial system in Spain is completely independent.

    “Anyway, it was the Guardia Civil that led the investigation and found the blood bags. No one else has found or seized over 200 blood bags. Not even 50. Not even 30.

    “You might say they weren’t found elsewhere because they didn’t exist elsewhere but that would suggest that doping wasn’t happening in other countries pre-2006 and I think we all know that is not true.

    “The reality is that it is very complex legally. It is very difficult to prosecute for doping offences in Europe. How many criminal trials can you recall in Germany, in Holland, in Norway, in the UK? How many convictions? In Spain, we managed it. Will all that be forgotten if the appeals are rejected?”He sighs again. “Look, I won’t lie,” he says, “it would be a tough day if they are [rejected]. Hugely frustrating. I mean, by the end [of the trial], if I remember correctly, it appeared the documents weren’t anybody’s and the meds weren’t from anyone... and the 200 bags, it’s as if they didn’t even exist.

    “Listen, they may not be from 200 people as some belong to the same person, but 80-100, surely yes? They must belong to someone.”

    Indeed they must. After 10 years, could we finally be about to find out to whom?

    IAAF hit-back at WADA claims of "systemic failures" within world governing body

    The IAAF have hit back against the claims of the WADA Independent Commission ©IAAF

    There is no "systemic corruption" within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body claimed today as they prepared to face more allegations with the publication later this week of the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report. 

    The IAAF claim that the cover-ups of doping failures were carried out only by a small minority of figures which contrast with the commitment of the "dedicated" majority.

    The defence by the IAAF is contained within a 30-page document, sent to WADA on Friday (January 8) and to insidethegames today.

    It is the IAAF's first detailed response to the WADA Independent Commission report published last November. 

    As well as allegations of sytemic and state-supported doping within Russian athletics, it was claimed that the IAAF may have delayed the outcome of up to eight cases and suffered from "systemic failures...that prevent or diminish the possibility of an effective anti-doping programme".

    Former IAAF President Lamine Diack has since been arrested as part of a French police investigation amid allegations he was involved in an extortion plot in which money was accepted in return for tests involving Russian athletes being covered up.

    Consultant Papa Massata Diack, the son of Diack, was banned for life from the sport by the IAAF Ethics Commission last week for his role in the plot.

    Former IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev was also banned, along with long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.

    The IAAF insist any wrongdoing in covering up positive drugs tests involving Russian athletes was confined to a small minority, despite the allegations against former President Lamine Diack ©Getty ImagesThe IAAF insist any wrongdoing in covering up positive drugs tests involving Russian athletes was confined to a small minority, despite the allegations against former President Lamine Diack ©Getty Images

    The report, which begins with a two-page executive summary, does not hold back in its criticism of those already sanctioned, and makes clear that they are not seeking to downplay in any way the "truly abhorrent" allegations.

    The IAAF claim that "no doping case has been covered up by the IAAF" and that only four of the eight alleged cases based on suspicious athlete biological passport (APB) readings were delayed in "unexplained and highly suspicious" ways.

    These concerned marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, the 2010 London Marathon winner and three-time Chicago Marathon champion, who reportedly paid approximately £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) to cover-up doping violations. 

    The other cases include two Olympic gold medallists from Beijing 2008, race walkers Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina, winners of the men and women's 20 kilometres walks respectively. 

    The third involves Vladimir Kanaykin, the 2011 World Championship silver medallist, who is now banned from the sport for life.

    The trio also made payments which resulted in delays, the IAAF rule in agreement with WADA.

    The other cases include race-walker Vladimir Kanaykin, the Olympic 20 kilometres gold medallist Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina, the Beijing 2008 20km winner and London 2012 silver medallist, also made payments which resulted in delays, the IAAF rule in agreement with WADA.

    The IAAF claim the delays ranged between only three and six months only from June 2012 to between September and December 2012 before the athletes were provisionally suspended or withdrawn from competition.

    Olga Kaniskina, the Olympic gold medallist in the 20 kilometres walk at Beijing 2008, was one of four Russians who paid money to avoid being banned for drugs, the IAAF claim ©Getty ImagesOlga Kaniskina, the Olympic gold medallist in the 20 kilometres walk at Beijing 2008, was one of four Russians who paid money to avoid being banned for drugs, the IAAF claim ©Getty Images

    The IAAF claim that two unnamed employees had raised concerns to Diack about delays in the process to sanction the athletes and that their work resulted in the process being sped up.

    The employees are believed to be Huw Roberts, recently appointed by new IAAF President Sebastian Coe to be the organisation’s senior legal counsel.

    The other is thought to be Thomas Capdevielle, an IAAF doping official who accompanied Coe when he appeared before Britain's Parliament in London last November. 

    IAAF distance-running official Sean Wallace-Jones is also believed to have raised the issue with Diack personally.

    Diack, though, claimed he had not spoken to his son, Papa Massata, in years when the Briton went to the then-President after receiving a complaint of extortion from Shobukhova’s coach. 

    The IAAF claim that the four other athletes mentioned by WADA, including the case of London 2012 50km champion Sergey Kirdyapkin, were not affected by any payments, with their being no legal way for the process to have been completed quicker.

    Kirdyapkin has not been stripped of his Olympic gold because he was given a three-year ban by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency starting in October 2012, which means it did not affect his performance in London. 

    The IAAF have appealed appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for this to be reassessed, including disqualifying him from London 2012. 

    Also mentioned by the IAAF in its response is Turkish athlete Asli Ҫakir-Alptekin, winner of the 1500m gold in London before being disqualified and banned from the sport for a second doping failure based on her ABP. 

    The IAAF regarded her APB readings as suspicious before the Olympics, it is claimed, but did not have full evidence to suspend her beforehand due to the findings being "inconclusive".

    There enough time for full analysis before London 2012, they claim. 

    "These allegations of corruption by individuals formerly associated with the IAAF are truly abhorrent, and the IAAF cannot, and does not, seek to avoid or downplay them in any way," the IAAF claim in the report sent to WADA. 

    "The IAAF wishes to salute the courage of the whistle-blowers (including its own staff members) who have helped to expose the wrongdoing described in the IC Report.

    "It will do everything in its power to punish the wrongdoers and to reform its own systems to make sure that no one can ever again interfere improperly with its anti-doping procedures."

    Russia's Sergey Kirdyapkin won the Olympic gold medal in the 50km walk at London 2012, but his suspension was not delayed by corrupt payments, according to the IAAF ©Getty ImagesRussia's Sergey Kirdyapkin won the Olympic gold medal in the 50 kilometres walk at London 2012, but his suspension was not delayed by corrupt payments, according to the IAAF ©Getty Images

    The report is unlikely to convince the many who are sceptical about the IAAF but does reiterate how all the cases mentioned first arose due to IAAF testing,.

    The governing body also point to the 76 Russian athletes have been sanctioned thanks to their anti-doping programme, including 33 through APB findings, as to how serious they take the problem of doping in the sport. 

    The publication of the IAAF statement comes ahead of the second part of the WADA Independent Commission Report being published in Munich on Thursday (January 14).

    The IAAF Task Force and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko are also due today to discuss the process to lift the world's largest country's suspension from athletics ahead of this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

    The IAAF report concludes: "As demonstrated above, there is no systemic corruption within the IAAF, but rather a dedicated staff with high ethical standards whose work has contributed greatly to the fight against doping in sport not only in athletics specifically, but also (through the support and assistance that the IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Department has provided to WADA over the years) in the whole of sport generally.

    "Stakeholders in athletics can therefore have confidence that the IAAF will continue to do, as it has done for the last 50 years, whatever is necessary to protect the integrity of the sport from the scourge of doping."

    The full IAAF response can be read by clicking IAAF response to WADA IC Report.pdf

                            07 JAN 2016 PRESS RELEASE MONACO


    IAAF logo (IAAF)IAAF logo (IAAF) © Copyright

    A panel of the IAAF Ethics Board (formerly Commission) has today delivered its decision concerning four persons, namely: Papa Massata Diack, former marketing consultant to the IAAF, Valentin Balakhnichev, former President of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), Alexei Melnikov, former Chief ARAF Coach for long distance walkers and runners, and Gabriel Dollé, former Director of the IAAF’s Anti-Doping Department, for various breaches of the IAAF Code of Ethics.

    This investigation commenced in April 2014 upon referral of a complaint to the Ethics Board by a member of the IAAF staff.

    The IAAF is angered to see that individuals have in the panel’s finding “conspired to extort what were in substance bribes from the athlete by acts of blackmail.” This is all the more so because these breaches are related to one doping case which, among others, was identified and pursued by the IAAF Anti-Doping Department. Ultimately, the Department was able to ensure that the athlete concerned received a lengthy ban, but the four individuals' activities delayed that outcome. The IAAF has already introduced corrective measures to make sure this sort of interference can’t happen again.

    These four individuals who have been found guilty and sanctioned are no longer associated with the IAAF in any capacity. The IAAF is reassured that the panel of the Ethics Board has seen no evidence implicating any other members of the IAAF Anti-Doping Department who continue their ground-breaking work on the Athlete Biological Passport programme with WADA. 

    IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “I’d like to thank the independent IAAF Ethics Board for their diligent and detailed investigation. The life bans announced today could not send a stronger message that those who attempt to corrupt or subvert the sport of athletics will be brought to justice. We continue to work with the French authorities’ investigation and the WADA’s Independent Commission.”

    Mo Farah: I want to be able to race against clean athletes

    British star is looking forward to a fresh start and believes Seb Coe is the right man to clean up the sport

    Mo Farah
    Mo Farah is in Edinburgh for his first cross country race for exactly five years Photo: PA

    By Ben Bloom, Athletics Correspondent, Edinburgh

    10:00PM GMT 08 Jan 2016

    As Mo Farah announced his quest for a “fresh start” on the hills of Holyrood, Edinburgh, on Saturday, it was impossible for the world’s greatest long-distance runner to hide from the doping problems that are blighting athletics.

    Sitting down to offer some thoughts ahead of his first cross-country race for five years, Farah picked up a newspaper for his fix of Arsenal transfer gossip only to be confronted by the latest tale of doping and corruption dragging the sport further into the gutter.

    While the recent revelations of state-sponsored doping in Russia and high-level bribery at the International Association of Athletics Federationshave nothing to do with Farah, the double Olympic champion is all too familiar with athletics’ drugs epidemic.

    Mo Farah: I have never taken drugs Mo Farah has strenuously denied ever taking banned substances

    Only last June he complained of having his “name dragged through the mud” after his coach, Alberto Salazar, was accused of serious doping offences.

    No allegations were ever made against Farah but there was an overwhelming sense that the furore tarnished his double gold medal-winning exploits at the World Championships last August.

    Despite the US Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Salazar not yet having reached a conclusion, Farah says it is time to move on. He said 2016 “is a big year and a fresh start. I don’t think there is a cloud over me at all. That’s all done as far as I’m concerned, we’ve moved on and I’ve answered every question.

    Seb Coe has been backed by Farah

    “I’m getting bored of [questions about Salazar]. We’ve had it the whole summer. It’s the same thing as I’ve always said: if anything were proven, I’m the first one out. But other than that, I’ll just continue working hard and keep grafting.”

    While Farah looks to put the tribulations of last summer behind him, the ever-darkening cloud engulfing athletics shows no sign of shifting any time soon.

    Just two days ago three former high-ranking IAAF figures – including the son of ex-president Lamine Diack – were handed life bans for blackmailing former London marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova and making her pay a bribe to cover up positive drugs tests.

    Farah says he is tired of discussing Alberto Salazar

    The bad news is due to keep coming next week when the World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent commission delivers the second part of its investigation into the extent of corruption and cover-ups in the sport. As one of the most recognisable athletes in the world, Farah says it is important to do his bit to put the sport in the headlines for the right reasons. “I don’t want to see it,” said Farah of the latest revelations. “But it’s good that they are getting life bans. If anyone is associated with [doping] then give them what they deserve. I want to be able to race against clean athletes.

    “We lead by example and we want the same rules [that British athletes adhere to] to apply to other countries.”

    Farah is hoping for more glory at the 2016 Olympics

    Lord Coe, who succeeded Diack as IAAF president in August, has come under increasing pressure in recent months, with Wada independent commission chairman Dick Pound accusing him of missing the opportunity to address the governing body’s problems during his eight-years as vice-president.

    However, Farah backed Coe, saying: “It’s going to take a bit of time but hopefully with Coe stepping in he will do a great job.”

    With rain forecast on Saturday and temperatures barely expected to exceed freezing, the Holyrood Park hills are unlikely to provide Farah with a soft opening over the five-mile Great Edinburgh International Cross-Country course. The first battle will simply be to stay warm, says Farah, with a knowing smile aware of the grim conditions that loom.

    Russian doping scandal: Sebastian Coe faces new crisis over aide’s leaked email

     Right-hand man admitted knowledge of doping cover-ups in 2013 
     Email sent to son of the former IAAF president Lamine Diack

    The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, is facing a fresh crisis after an email was leaked showing that his right-hand man knew about a number of Russian doping cases in 2013, and discussed a secret plan to delay naming those involved before the World Championships in Moscow that year.

    In the email published by the French newspaper Le Monde, Coe’s close confidante Nick Davies – the International Association of Athletics Federations’ deputy general secretary – also suggested that athletics’ governing body might use Coe’s political influence and his sports marketing firm Chime Sports Media (CSM), as an “unofficial PR campaign” to “stop attacks planned by the British press towards Russia”. As Davies explained in a “very secret” email to former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack, son of the former president Lamine Diack, he planned to “sit down to talk with the Anti-Doping Department and understand exactly who are the ‘corpses’ Russians that are still in the cupboard, in relation to doping”.

    In the email, which was sent on 19 July, 2013 – just 22 days before the start of the World Championships in Moscow – Davies admits that the IAAF should have unveiled the “various [Russian] athletes a long time ago” but says “now we need to be smart”.

    After stressing that the athletes who cheated should not be part of any Russian team for the World Championships “and Valentin [Balakhnichev, the IAAF treasurer and head of Russian Athletics] should be pressurised to make sure this is the case”, Davies outlines a plan to minimise the damage. “If the guilty ones are not competing then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them,” he writes. “Or we announce one or two but at the same time as athletes from other countries. Also we can prepare a special dossier on IAAF testing which will show that one of the reasons why these Russian athletes come up positive is that they get tested a lot!!!”

    In his email to Papa Diack, Davies also suggested that the IAAF might take advantage of Coe’s influence with the UK media by using his CSM agency as part of a PR strategy. “I believe if we consider using CSM we can also benefit from Seb’s political influence in the UK,” wrote Davies. “It is in his personal interest to ensure that the World Championships in Moscow are a success and that people do not think that the press in his country wants to destroy them. We will work hard to stop all attacks planned by the British press towards Russia in the coming weeks.”At the time of the email, Russia’s suitability to host the World Championships in 2013 was being questioned after a series of doping allegations. In the four months after the event the IAAF announced sanctions against 16 Russian athletes.

    The email is bound to cause Coe huge embarrassment given that one of his first acts after becoming IAAF president in August was to promote Davies from press spokesman to run his office. It may also make those sceptical of his promises to change the sport further question his judgment. Davies concludes his email to Papa Diack by telling him that he will do “everything in my power to protect the IAAF and the president”. Given the reputation of athletics’ governing body, that looks ill-judged in hindsight.

     have already had some thoughts and believe that we need to do the following, in the strict confidence and control within a small circle of senior IAAF staff only. This must be very secret. … ‘unofficially’ PR campaign to ensure that we avoid international media scandals related to the Moscow Championships especially in the British press, where the worst of the articles are coming from. This will require specialist PR skills (working only with me directly) from London, but I believe that if we consider using CSM we can also benefit from Seb’s political influence in the UK. It is in his personal interest to ensure that the Moscow World Champs is a success.”

    “Finally, I need to be able to sit down with the Anti-doping department and understand exactly what Russian ‘skeleton’ we have still in the cupboard regarding doping. I think that the time to have unveiled the various athletes was a long time ago and that now we need to be smart. These athletes, of course, should NOT be part of any Russian team for these World Championships and Valentin should be pressured to make sure this is the case. If the guilty ones are not competing, then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them. Or, we announce one or two BUT AT SAME TIME as athletes from other countries. Also, we can prepare a special dossier on IAAF testing which will show that one of reasons why these Russian athletes come up positive is that they get tested a lot!!! … I will do everything in my power to protect the IAAF and the President.”

    – IAAF deputy general secretary and Seb Coe‘s chief of staff, Nick Davies, in a 2013 email to then marketing consultant Papa Masita Diack, about a “secret plan” to delay naming Russian dopers until after the 2013 World Championships to lessen the blow they’d face in the media.

    IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies has stepped aside while an investigation takes place over a plan to delay naming Russian drug cheats.

    In an email to Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing consultant, before the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Davies wrote about the need to discuss "Russian skeletons in the cupboard" with the anti-doping team.

    The Englishman said to the son of Lamine Diack - the former president of athletics' ruling body - that "we need to be smart" about releasing names.

    In a statement released on Tuesday, Davies said: "I have decided to step aside until such time as the Ethics Board is able to review the matter properly and decide if I am responsible for any breach of the IAAF Code of Ethics.

    "What has become apparent is that I have become the story."

    Davies denied any wrongdoing and explained he had shown emails sent to Papa Massata Diack in 2013 and statements to the IAAF Ethics Board.

    The email which had been obtained by the BBC contains a "very secret" five-point plan and was sent on 19 July, 22 days before the start of the 2013 World Athletics Championships.

    The IAAF announced sanctions against 16 Russian athletes in the four months following the Moscow event, in which Russia topped the medals table.

    Last month, they became the first country to be banned from international competition because of doping after an independent report uncovered systemic, state-sponsored cheating.

    London 2012 Olympic champions Sergey Kidyapkin and Yulia Zaripova are among six leading Russian athletes who will find out the status of their doping suspensions in late February, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced today.

    It follows appeals launched by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) into punishments given by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which were criticised as "selective".

    RUSADA banned London 2012 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Zaripova for two years in January, backdated to July 2013, and said her Olympic title should be stripped from her, but not her 2011 World Championships gold medal. 

    Sergei Kirdyapkin, winner of the Olympic gold medal in the 50 kilometres walk at London 2012, and Olga Kaniskina, the 20km gold champion at the Beijing 2008 Games and silver medallist at London, and Sergei Bakulin, the 2011 World 50km champion, were banned for three years and two months.

    Their cases were were backdated to 2012.

    Valery Borchin, the Olympic 2008 20km gold medallist, was banned for eight years.

    Vladimir Kanaykin, who set the current world record for the 20km walk of 1hr 17min 16sec in 2007, received a life suspension. 

    A hearing into Zaripova is due to be held in Lausanne on February 26.

    Hearings against the five race walkers took place in the Swiss city earlier this month on December 2 and 3, but no findings will be released until after Zaripova's hearing. 

    The above procedures have all been referred to the same panel of CAS arbitrators which will simultaneously issue an Arbitral Award for each case after the final case has been heard in February 2016," a statement providing a status update said today.

    There is no progress, however, regarding the Beijing 2008 gold medallist Tatyana Chernova.

    Chernova, who beat Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill to the 2011 world title, has a ban backdated from July 22, 2013 after a retested sample from the 2009 World Championships tested positive for banned anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol.

    All of Chernova's results recorded between August 15, 2009, and August 14, 2011, have been wiped from the record books.

    Her World Championship victory, however, which came shortly after that period on August 30, 2011, has controversially been allowed to remain. 

    The statement adds: "With respect to the CAS procedure between IAAF v. ARAF and Tatyana Chernova, it is noted that the procedure was suspended in May 2015 at the request of the IAAF while additional investigations were carried out by ARAF and RUSADA.

    "The CAS arbitration will resume once such investigation has concluded."

    The IAAF are not commenting publicly on any of the cases so long as they remain open. 

    Russia is currently banned by the IAAF following the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Commission confirmed reports of state-supported doping in a report published last month.

    WADA are due to release the second part of their report at a press conference in Munich on January 14.

    In recent months Papa Diack has become one of a number of former IAAF figuresto face charges of extorting money from the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova to hide her doping. While only last week Le Monde also reported that Diack Snr, who is being investigated by French police for corruption, had confessed to asking for €1.5m from Araf and that the IAAF had intentionally slowed doping cases involving Russian athletes.

    In a statement Davies denied any wrongdoing, and said he was merely exchanging ideas about possible strategies related to “serious challenges” faced around the image of the competition. “No plan was put in place following this email and there is absolutely no possibility that a strategy or a media plan/PR may interfere with the anti-doping procedure,” he added. “I have not discussed these ideas with CSM and there was never any agreement between the IAAF and CSM to develop a public relations campaign.”


    But the leaking of his email to Le Monde will heap further pressure on the IAAF. Last month an Independent Commission report by the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed that there was systemic state-sponsored doping in Russia and warned of a “conspiracy to conduct and conceal corrupt behaviour by particular highly placed members and officials of the IAAF and the Araf [the Russian Athletics Federation]”.

    Several other former senior figures at the IAAF, including Papa Diack, Balakhnichev, former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dollé and Lamine Diack’s special legal adviser Habib Cissé are also being investigated by French police for allegedly taking bribes to cover up positive tests.

    Papa Diack, Dollé and Balakhnichev are also awaiting the decision of the IAAF’s ethics committee on charges of extorting money from Shobukhova. They deny the charges but face life bans if found guilty.

    Coe’s spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle said her client would not be responding to the story. “What is very clear is that Sebastian will not respond to emails to which he knows nothing,” she said.

    Whistleblowing couple Yulia Stepanova and Vitaly Stepanov believe it would be unfair on the rest of the world if Russia's ban from athletics is lifted before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    Members of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council voted 22-1 to ban Russia after revelations of state-sponsored doping were revealed in an explosive report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission last month.

    No time-frame has been revealed for their reinstatement, although the ban will almost certainly not be lifted before the World Indoor Championships in Portland, United States, in March, as no findings are expected to be reported by the IAAF inspection team until after the Championships on March 27.

    Both the IAAF and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency must be able to carry out drug-testing activities in Russia effectively and without interference if the ban is to be lifted, while the participation of Russian athletes must not jeopardise the integrity of international competitions.

    The Stepanovs, the husband and wife duo instrumental in inspiring the Independent Commission's verdict of systemic doping across Russian athletics, believe the nation should miss August's Games in order to make a serious message.

    "It would be unfair to the athletes of the world [if the ban if lifted]," Stepanov told ARD, the German television station to which he first gave his information. 

    "For decades, the Russians did not respect the rules, knowingly lied to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the athletes of the world. 

    "And suddenly, they say they can change and become good people. 

    "They must be punished. 

    "Justice must be served."

    Officials face life bans over Liliya Shobukhova doping ‘extortion’ at hearing

    The senior athletics officials accused of extorting €450,000 (£330,000) from the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova to cover up her doping violations will face the possibility of life bans from the sport when a three-day disciplinary hearing into their conduct begins on Wednesday.

    Those facing sanctions from the International Association of Athletics Federation’s independent ethics commission include Gabriel Dollé, the most senior anti-doping official at athletics’ governing body until last year, and Papa Massata Diack, the son of the former IAAF president Lamine Diack. Also facing sanctions for their alleged involvement in helping Shobukhova avoid punishment despite suspicious blood samples are Valentin Balakhnichev, formerly the president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation and treasurer of the IAAF, and the senior Russian endurance coach Alexei Melnikov.

    A fifth unnamed person is also facing disciplinary charges. Those accused are not expected to attend the private hearing in person but legal representatives will be able to make their case on their behalf. The ethics commission chairman, Michael Beloff QC, is aware of the interest in the case and is not expected to announce his findings or publish his report into the allegations until the new year.

    Shobukhova, a London and Chicago marathon winner, was the second fastest female athlete in history over 26.2 miles behind Paula Radcliffe until she was banned in 2014. Before then she was allowed to compete at the London 2012 Olympics despite anomalies in her blood passport after allegedly paying €150,000 to Russian officials on three separate occasions that year.

    Those payments came to light in April 2014 when Beloff received a sworn deposition alleging corruption at the highest level of athletics’ governing body. According to the document, which was signed by Shobukhova’s agent, Andrei Baranov, and included testimony from an IAAF whistleblower, Dollé, Diack Jr, Balakhnichev and Melnikov were involved – with Shobukhova alleged to have paid Melnikov. They have all denied any wrongdoing.


    A separate report into corruption at the IAAF, by an World-Anti-Doping Agency independent commission led by Dick Pound, will publish its findings in Munich on 14 January. Pound has already warned: “When we release this information to the world there will be a wow factor. I think people will say: ‘How on earth could this happen?’ It’s a complete betrayal of what the people in charge of the sport should be doing.”

    French prosecutors are, meanwhile, investigating several former IAAF officials, including Sebastian Coe’s predecessor as president, Lamine Diack. According to the national financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette, investigators believe Diack earned “more than €1m” by ignoring the activities of Papa Massata Diack, despite being warned several times.

    Last month Lamine Diack was placed under investigation by French police on preliminary charges of corruption and money laundering. His former legal adviser Habib Cissé was also detained and charged with corruption, as was Dollé. Diack Jr, employed by his father as a consultant for the IAAF, was not arrested because he had not travelled to France as planned. His whereabouts is currently unknown.

    According to Houlette: “What is certain is that Mr Cissé, the legal adviser to Mr Diack, travelled to Russia and gave to the Russian federation the list of Russian athletes suspected of doping and, in exchange for sums of money, these athletes weren’t sanctioned.”

    It is claimed that the former IAAF president and Wada has been paid to overlook athletes that have tested positive of performance enhancing drugs. The new IAAF president Seb Cole has helped suspend Russia and several Kenyan from the 2016 Olympics. Many other athletes have been suspended or are under investigation.   

    Senegal: Breaking News: Senegalese Gov’t Arrests Sen TV Boss, For Reporting On The £1m Russian Sports Doping Scandal, Which President Sall’s Party Allegedly Benefited From!

    The administration of President Macky Sall of Senegal, has started arresting journalists, who are reporting on the latest corruption and bribery scandal, involving the country’s De Facto President Sall, who has been accused of receiving Over £1m campaign finance for his Presidency from the embattled Lamin Diack, a Senegalese native, linked to a Russian Doping Bribery scandal, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Lamine Diack makes astonishing claim that over £1m in Drug Doping bribes from Russia helped fund Senegalese President Macky Sall’s Election Campaign, the Daily Mail reported. The story was first reported by a French Newspaper, Le Monde, which quoted legal sources to expose the corruption scandal.

    mbaye 2Concerned by the political ramifications behind such a damning scandal, the Macky government resorted to rounding up journalist reporting on the story. The first casualty of  Macky’s latest attempts to stifle free press and expression in the country, is Journalist Massamba Mbaye. Mr. Mbaye is the Managing Director of Zik FM and SEN TV.  He was arrested this morning by the personnel of Senegal’s Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC). Mbaye was picked up in the presence of his family and whisked away to the DIC headquarters for interrogation. His perceived crime was for merely quoting and reporting on the Le Monde Newspaper story alleging that President Sall received Russian Dope money bribery funds from Lamin Diack.  

    Both Zik FM and Sen TV reported the story. A panel of commentators also discussed the issue on TV last night, which triggered the arrest of Mr. Massamba Mbaye, the station Managing Director. Also invited for questioning was one Alhagie Mansour Jobe, a senior staffer of  Zik FM in Ziguinchor.

    Reacting to the arrest of his boss, Alhagie Momodou Ndiaye of SEN TV, criticized the harsh measures taken by the Senegalese police to arrest Mr. Mbaye. He said Mr. Mbaye ought to have been treated with utmost respected than throwing him into a waiting police vehicle in the presence of his family.

    “There was no justification for their conduct. Mr. Massamba Mbaye is a respected journalist in this country. Why didn’t they allow him to use his own car to join them to the station?  They could have just invited him to report to the station than exposing him into such police heavy-handedness. This is wrong,” he lamented.

    idrissa-seckOpposition Leader  Idrissa Seck,  was equally baffled by the latest corruption revelations against President Sall. Mr. Seck told Sen TV that President Sall should instead remain calm and focused than arresting innocent journalists and politicians. He said the country has been confronted with so many problems and therefore any further action to compound it should be avoided. 

    “The Senegalese President has been named in a scandal. It is up to him to defend himself than arresting journalists. We don’t mind all of us to be arrested, but the issues at hand concern Senegal and its President. The press should report the story. The politicians will talk about it. Arresting journalists and politicians will not solve the problem,” Mr. Seck said.

    According to Idrissa Seck, the main man, making the allegations against President Sall, Lamin Diack, is a Senegalese citizen. He said Diack is facing investigations in France, and therefore President Sall should make sure that he (Sall) and Senegal should come out clean from the Russian Doping elections campaign finance funds scandal.

    macky sall“President Sall should demonstrate to the world at this time that Senegal is a nation of laws. That no one is above the law. He should allow the press to do their job without any form of censorship or intimidation. If he feels that he (Macky Sall) is clean and has no case to answer, he shouldn’t arrest any journalist. We strongly condemn the arrest of journalists for merely performing their legitimate journalistic duties. This is a serious affair, which requires serious intervention from the government in place. Senegalese have all rights to be informed about the latest scandal,” Seck said in the Wollof dialect.

    Meanwhile, the spokesman of  Abdoulaye Wade’s  PDS party Omar Sarr has been arrested.  Mr. Sarr’s arrest has to do with his reaction to the campaign finance scandal allegedly involving President Sall. Sarr has called on President Sall to resign on the basis that Sall used dirty money to finance his campaign. Mr. Sarr is still under police custody.  

    In another development, Alhagie Monsour Jobe, has been released from custody, according to sources reaching the Freedom Newspaper.  Mr. Jobe was instructed to report to the police on Monday. His boss Massamba Mbaye remained under police custody.  

    Meanwhile, Lamin Diack has denied making such incriminating statements against President Sall and his party.  He made the denial through his lawyer, according to the Reuters News Agency. 

    “President Lamine Diack affirms that he never gave the slightest sum of money to the candidate, Macky Sall, who became president of Senegal, nor to his electoral campaign managers,” Diack’s lawyers Daouda Diop, Christian Charriere-Bournazel and Alexandre Varaut wrote in the statement emailed to Reuters.

    “Everything, both in his declarations to the police and to the investigating magistrate, demonstrates this,” they wrote. “Any contribution that may have come from Russia to Senegal has no link with either the functions or the actions of Mr Lamine Diack in his role of IAAF president.”

    By LetsRun.comDecember 18, 2015

    Report: Lamine Diack Has Confessed to Seeking 1.5 Million Euros from Russian Athletics Federation; Has Admitted That The IAAF Intentionally Slowed Doping Cases Involving Russian Athletes

    According to a report published in the French paper Le Monde, former IAAF president Lamine Diack has confessed that he sought approximately 1.5 million Euros from former All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) presidentValentin Balakhnichev in late 2011, which Diack said he wanted to use to fund opposition to the Senegalese government during the country’s 2012 elections. Le Monde says Diack made the confession to French police on November 2, one day after he was arrested on charges of corruption and money laundering.

    In the March 2012 Senegalese election, incumbent Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade lost to the Diack-backed Macky Sall. A spokesman for Sall, who honored Diack as a Commander of the National Order of the Lion in 2015 and supported Diack after he was arrested in November, denied to Le Monde that his campaign had received any funding from Diack or Russia. Balakhnichev also has denied that Diack asked him for money to fund any elections or campaigns.Diack at the World Athletics Gala in 2010

    According to transcripts acquired by Le Monde, Diack has also admitted that the IAAF delayed the suspension of Russian athletes until after the 2013 World Championships — hosted by Moscow in August of that year — due to sponsorship negotiations with Russian TV channel RTR and Russian bank VTB. The WADA independent commission, led by Dick Pound, will issue a report on its investigation of IAAF corruption on January 14. Other key points of the article (which is written in French) include: It is not 100% clear whether Diack received the money from Balakhnichev.

    In November 2011, Diack tasked his legal advisor Habib Cissé — who was already negotiating IAAF sponsorship contracts with Russian companies — with delivering a list of 23 Russian athletes with abnormal biological profiles to Balakhnichev. Over the next few months, Cissé made multiple trips to Russia, once returning from Moscow with 20,000 Euros.

    • Gabriel Dollé, former anti-doping director of the IAAF, admitted to French police that he agreed to slow down procedures in the doping case involving Russian marathoner Lilya Shobukhova after being told to do so during a January 2012 meeting with Diack and Cissé. Dollé was told that if he did not slow down proceedings, it would create bad publicity ahead of the 2012 Olympics, which would prejudice negotiations with Russian sponsors. Shobukhova ultimately competed in the 2012 Olympics in the marathon.
    • Dollé was also instructed to delay telling ARAF about other Russian doping positives/biological passport abnormalities and was paid at least 190,000 Euros to do so by Lamine Diack, his son Papa Massata Diack, and others.
    • Le Monde also reports that in a July 2013 email to his father, Papa Massata Diack wrote that Balakhnichev asked that Lamine take action after other IAAF administrators began to take notice of the delayed action on Russian athletes. According to Le Monde, Lamine Diack told French police that Sheikh Thiare (then the IAAF’s director of the office of the president), Nick Davies (IAAF press chief) and Pierre-Yves Garnier (then in charge of the biological passport) were offered bribes to keep quiet. Thiare and Davies denied these claims; Garnier did not respond to Le Monde‘s interview request.

    MOSCOW -- The IAAF says it has banned Russian runner Tatyana Andrianova for doping in a case that is more than 10 years old.

    Andrianova tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol while competing in the 800 meters at the 2005 world championships in Finland, where she won bronze.

    That medal is likely to pass to fourth-place finisher Maria Mutola of Mozambique.

    Andrianova's ban comes at a time when Russia is suspended from athletics over accusations of running a state-sponsored doping program.

    In August, the IAAF said it identified 28 athletes suspected of doping at the 2005 and 2007 worlds after retesting their samples using new technology.

    The 28 have not been named, and it is not clear whether Andrianova is among them, or is a separate case.

    ROME -- The Italian Olympic Committee requested two-year doping bans Wednesday for 26 track and field athletes -- several of whom are slated to compete at next year's Rio de Janeiro Games.

    The list includes Fabrizio Donato, the bronze medalist in triple jump at the 2012 London Olympics, and Andrew Howe, the silver medalist in long jump at the 2007 world championships; distance runner Daniele Meucci; and sprinter Simone Collio.

    All 26 are accused of evading doping tests but maintain there was an administrative error. They will face trials at CONI's anti-doping court, with decisions expected sometime next year.

    "What I've been accused of is not a doping case but rather problems of availability for the Whereabouts system," hammer thrower Silvia Salis said, according to the ANSA news agency. "The only thing I can say is that the system had technical flaws."

    Five of the 26 had already qualified for Rio while about 10 have retired, including pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco.

    Alex Schwazer, the gold medalist in 50-kilometer race walk at the 2008 Beijing Olympics who was banned previously, was among 39 athletes cleared in this case.

    CONI acted following an investigation by prosecutors in Bolzano.

    "Placing the blame only on the athletes for what happened is too simple," Italian Athletics Federation president Alfio Giomi said. "The athlete is the starting and finishing point for the entire movement but in between there are coaches, clubs, the federation and CONI. We all have to assume our responsibility."


    26 referrals for athletes: for violation of art. 2.3. Of the CSA request for imposition of the sanction of disqualification of two years not to proceed to the complaint essentially in art  Andrew Howe  NCERTAIN Anna  LALLI Andrea  LAROSA  Stefano LICCIARDELLO  Claudio Daniele  Meucci OBRIST Christian ERTILE  Roger Riparelli Jacques  SALIS Silvia  2.4 of the CSA;Roberto Bertolini   CAMPIOLI Philip Simone Collio  Roberto Donati Fabrizio Donato Faloci John  GALVAN Matteo  GIBILISCO Joseph  GREEK Daniel

    Ukraine bans three-time Osaka International Ladies Marathon champion for four years

    Tetyana Shmyrko, a three-time winner of the Osaka International Ladies Marathon, has been suspended for four years by the Ukrainian Athletics Federation (UAF), it has been announced.

    The 32-year-old has been banned following violations discovered in her athlete biological passport, which monitors an athletes' blood records over a period of time to see if there is anything suspicious about their profile.

    The Executive Board of the UAF have announced that all of Shmyrko's results dating back to August 2011 will be expunged following the suspension.

    That means she will lose the Osaka Marathon titles she won in 2013, 2014 and 2015, including her Ukrainian record performance of 2 hours 22min 09sec she had set winning this year's race.

    The time was the ninth fastest by a woman this year.

    Shmyrko's fifth place performance in the Olympic marathon at London 2012 will also be erased from the record books. 

    Results from the last three Osaka races will now be revised, including this year's race where Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka will be promoted to the winner.

    Japanese pair Yukiko Akaba and Kayoko Fukushi are set to move up to winners of the 2014 and 2013 races respectively. 

    Shmyrko's suspension is due to end on September 29, 2019. 

    Greek triple jumper Piyi Devetzi may lose Olympic medals over drugs test

     Retested sample from 2007 tests positive for 39-year-old 
     Devetzi won 2004 Olympic silver and 2008 bronze

    The retired triple jumper Piyi Devetzi, 39, could be stripped of her Olympic silver and bronze medals after Greece’s track and field federation (Segas) said on Wednesday she had failed a doping test.

    Dick Pound says second part of Wada doping report will be more explosive

    Read more

    “The international federation [the IAAF] informed Segas that Piyi Devetzi retested positive on a sample taken in 2007,” Segas said in a statement. “Following this development the federation has opened disciplinary proceedings against her.”

    Devetzi retired in 2009 after the International Association of AthleticsFederations banned her for two years for refusing to undergo a doping test while she was training in Ukraine.

    She won an Olympic silver medal in Athens in 2004 and a bronze in Beijing four years later.

    Devetzi also claimed a world championship bronze in Osaka, Japan in 2007.

    NAIROBI, November 27- Two-time IAAF World Cross champion, Emily Chebet Muge, has been banned for four years while six others including disgraced Beijing Worlds female sprinters; Joy Zakari and Francesca Koki Manunga have also been convicted for doping violations.

    On a bombshell Friday night, Athletics Kenya (AK) announced stiff sanctions against seven runners with Chebet, earning the shameful distinction as the first Kenyan champion at a major global event to be banned for substance abuse in the decorated history of the nation.

    Hours after Pope Francis left the country for Uganda following a three-day pastoral and State visit, the federation that has come under fire for alleged complicity in taming the doping menace of among the country’s runners struck with venom.

    “Has been sanctioned for four (4) years effective 17th July 2015 to 16th July 2019 after being found guilty of using the prohibited substance Furosemide,” AK said in a press statement dispatched in the darkness of Friday night in relation to Chebet.

    The latest bans push the figure of Kenyan runners banned for doping to 43, 40 among them being sanctioned from 2012 in a spike that brought out threats of international competition exclusion from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that continues to place the nation on its shortlist of countries whose control systems are wanting.

    Besides Zakari and Koki who returned adverse findings at the summer IAAF World Championships in Beijing, tainting a strong showing where Kenya topped the globe for the first time ever, Agnes Jepkosgei Cheserek, Bernard Mwendia, Judy Jesire Kimuge and Lilian Moraa will also serve bans of two to four years.

    -Chebet shocker-

    The presence of Kericho born and bred Administration Police officer Chebet, 29, an A-list runner in the damned list caused the biggest ripples and further open scrutiny at the top echelons of the global distance running powerhouse.

    Coming in the same year another famous female runner, Rita Jeptoo, who won Boston and Chicago marathons back-to-back in 2013 and 14 was banned for four years for EPO use, her bust is proof the menace is creeping at the apex of the sport.

    In March, Chebet was in the Kenyan team for the 2015 IAAF Guiyang World Cross where her bid for a third women’s senior 8km individual title ended with a sixth place finish as teenager Agnes Jebet Tirop, 19, succeeded her.

    She was however, part of the Kenyan team that won silver and her ban could erase that performance from record books as well as other impressive results at international road race and cross country meets in Europe and America.

    Chebet soared to her first world title in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2010 and after missing a defence in 2011 in Punta Umbria, Spain with injury; she returned to the middle step of the podium at the same Polish city in 2013, succeeding current world 10,000m champion, Vivian Cheruiyot.

    Her last recorded race was in Albany, New York where she won the 5K race in 15:38 and word about her failed drug test gained currency at the August 1 Kenyan Trials for Beijing Worlds when she failed to compete.

    Furosemide, sold under the brand name Lasix among others, is a medication used to treat fluid build-up due to heart failure, liver scarring, or kidney disease.[1] It may also be used for the treatment of high blood pressure.

    According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Diuretics such as Furosemide “increase urine volume and dilute any doping agents as well as their metabolites present in the urine and make their detection more problematic by conventional anti-doping analysis. For this reason, diuretics are classified as masking agents on the WADA Prohibited List (class S5: ‘Diuretics and other masking agents’) (WADA, 2009b).”

    Chebet won the bronze in 10,000m at the 2006 and 2014 Africa Athletics Championships as well as silver and bronze at the 2014 and 12 editions of the CAA Africa Cross Country Championships.

     After IAAF announced initial indefinite suspensions of women 400m runner, Zakari and women 400 Hurdler, Koki at the Beijing Worlds pertaining to out of competition tests at the team hotel, AK has now banned them for four years each.

    “Francisca Koki Manunga – Has been sanctioned for four (4) years effective 25th August 2015 to 24th August 2019 after being found guilty of using the prohibited substance Furosemide.

    “Joyce Sakari Nakumincha – Has been sanctioned for four (4) years effective 25th August 2015 to 24th August 2019 after being found guilty of using the prohibited substance Furosemide,” the federation wrote adding them to the list of the diuretic.

    Zakari, 29, of Kenya Police Service set a 51.14 national record at the July 11 National Championships in Nairobi before her results in Heat 3 of the Worlds in Beijing were annulled following her expulsion from China.

    She was part of the Kenyan 4X400m women’s relay quartet that won silver at the 2008 Africa Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and took the wooden spoon during the heats of the lap race on her Olympics debut at London 2012.

    Koki, 22, was part of the country’s 4X400m and 4X100m relay teams that finished fifth at both the heats of their competition in Glasgow, Scotland and her result at the heats of the 400m Hurdles heats were chalked off in Beijing.

    Jepkosgei Cheserekn who finished third at the 2013 Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon; “Has been sanctioned for four (4) years effective 17th October 2015 to 16th October 2019 after being found guilty of using the prohibited substance Norandrosterone,” the federation stated.

    Road runner Mwendia, with a half marathon PB of 63:45, “Has been sanctioned for four (2) years effective 16th November 2014 to 15th November 2016 after being found guilty of using the prohibited substance Norandrosterone.”

    Jesire Kimuge, with a 1:06:11 lifetime best in half marathon, has virtually no CV to write about and will also serve a two-year ban for Norandrosterone effective 1st June 2014 to 30th May 2016.

    Moraa Marita, another virtually unknown with 34:59 and 56:06 career bests in 10K and 15K distance received two years for EPO running from 15th August 2015 to 14th August 2017.

    Norandrosterone and other 19‐norsteroid potent anabolic steroids have been prohibited in sports for 30 years. The detection of the main urinary metabolite—19‐norandrosterone—in amounts greater than 2 ng/ml constitutes an adverse analytical finding WADA says.

    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally by the human body. EPO is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production.

    An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles and has been banned since the early 1990s.


      November 13, 2015

    USATF President and IAAF Council Member Stephanie Hightower on the IAAF Council action to provisionally suspend the Russian Federation:

    Council examined this matter very thoughtfully, fully aware of the extraordinary action we ultimately decided to take. The WADA report was clear in its evidence and unequivocal in its recommendations. From Council's perspective, in light of the evidence, suspension was the only proper course of action. The IAAF has an obligation to protect athletes, and this action sends a clear message to clean athletes that protecting them and protecting the sport, with a culture of accountability, is our top priority. It is my hope as a Council member that this process also will spur a review of the IAAF governance structure, and that we will act to implement WADA's recommendations of instituting an ombudsman and compliance officer. Although this is a difficult time, in the long term, the sport ultimately will be stronger for it. 

    Sebastian Coe resigns from Nike post amid storm of criticism

    MONACO — Although new to his job, Sebastian Coe has already learned that some battles are simply not worth fighting when you're trying to lead a major sport out of crisis.

    The head of track and field's governing body announced Thursday that he has given up his role as a special adviser to Nike. That relationship was longstanding, dating back to his years as a star middle-distance runner, and it was lucrative, reportedly worth 100,000 pounds ($150,000) to him each year. 

    But that link has become a millstone around Coe's neck since he was elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations in August, because it left the former Olympic champion open to critics' accusations that he might put the interests of the sportswear giant before those of his sport.

    Coe said Thursday that he still believes it is possible to be both a Nike ambassador and lead the IAAF without it being a conflict of interest. But he said he was giving up the Nike position because discussion about that role is distracting from his No. 1 mission: saving track and field from a crisis of confidence sparked by revelations of widespread doping in Russia, and alleged corruption at the very top of the IAAF under Coe's predecessor, Lamine Diack.

    "It is clear that perception and reality have become horribly mangled," he said. "The current noise level about this ambassadorial role is not good for the IAAF and it is not good for Nike."

    "Frankly," he added, "it is a distraction to the 18-hour days that I and our teams are working to steady the ship."

    Coe's decision, which he said was taken in recent weeks, shows both a willingness to compromise and that he recognizes that the IAAF has bigger fish to fry at the moment than have to face questions about its president's outside business dealings and whether they could cloud his judgement.

    Coe has multiple crises to deal with.

    Russia, a track and field power, is currently suspended from international competition, possibly including next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, for allowing systematic, widespread doping.

    French prosecutors are investigating allegations that Diack, his sons and others at the IAAF were involved in corruption and money-laundering and an alleged blackmail scheme that squeezed bribes from athletes in return for promises to hide their positive doping tests.

    Ultimately, Coe's presidency will be judged on how effectively he puts out those and other fires. By recognizing that questions about Nike were distracting from his work, Coe signaled that he understands the need to put the interests of his sport first. He is also acknowledging that, in the long run, solving track's problems will be better for him than digging in his heels now for personal gain.

    "I have stepped down from my ambassadorial role with Nike, which dates back 38 years," he announced at a news conference in Monaco, having first informed the IAAF's ruling council of his decision. "I felt that I needed to be able to focus unflinchingly on the challenges ahead."

    Coe is still chairman of sports' marketing agency CSM that works in 19 countries. But he said the company, again to ward off any potential conflict of interest questions, has agreed not to work for the IAAF as long as he leads it.

    His decision to take a financial hit immediately posed the follow-up question of whether the IAAF should start paying its presidents, so they don't have to get money from elsewhere.

    Frankie Fredericks, an IAAF council member, said the athletes commission he heads would want the president to be paid, because athletes want professional leadership and "the best services they can get."

    Football's governing body, FIFA, pays its president, but refuses to say how much. The head of the International Olympic Committee is a paid position, too.

    In other business, the IAAF council discussed the doping crisis in Russia and gave a green light to setting up a new integrity unit. It will take the lead in combatting not just doping in track and field but also other forms of cheating, including fixing results and athletes lying about their age.

    Earlier Thursday, Coe got a boost when Russia vowed to work "very actively" with the IAAF to eradicate the doping culture that led to its blanket ban from international competition. The decision by Russia's athletics federation not to contest the IAAF ban and its additional promise to work "very hard" to tackle doping represented a modest victory for Coe and suggests that his push to sanction Russia is producing early results.

    To be reinstated, Russia will now have to clear numerous hurdles, not only sanctioning athletes and others who doped or were complicit in cheating and cover-ups but also carrying out a series of reforms. It will have to satisfy an IAAF inspection commission that it has ticked all the boxes required to be allowed back into the fold. The council meeting discussed those steps in general terms but more work is needed, in consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency, to finalize exactly what they will be.

    By accepting the IAAF suspension and waiving its right to a hearing, Russia signaled that it wants the process that could lead to its reinstatement to move forward quickly.

    In a letter to the IAAF, the general secretary of the Russian athletics federation, Mikhail Butov, said: "We are working very hard now in Russia to change a lot."

    "We will cooperate with (the) nominated commission very actively," Butov said. "I hope for a positive result after (a) certain time and (a) full come-back to the IAAF family."

    UKA announces that the former coach of Bernice Wilson has been charged with committing anti-doping rule violations

    Former UK Athletics-licensed coach George Skafidas has been provisionally suspended from participating in the sport, the national governing body announced on Monday (November 23).

    The Greek, who coached former GB sprinter Bernice Wilson when she was banned for a drugs offence, has been charged by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) with having committed anti-doping rule violations.

    “The provisional suspension issued by UK Anti-Doping and in accordance with IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, came in to effect today,” read a statement released by UK Athletics (UKA) on Monday.

    “The individual now has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him including the right to a full hearing of the case.”

    UKAD confirmed the provisional suspension via the organisation’s official Twitter account, adding: “UKAD will not disclose any further details until due process, including any appeals, has been completed.”

    Skafidas had held a UKA coach licence but on August 28, 2013, the federation confirmed that a case management group had decided to ban the Greek coach from holding any form of UKA license for five years.

    UKA will not disclose the exact reason for that ban, only that one of the circumstances for withdrawal of a licence set out in condition 6.1 of the Coach Licence Terms and Conditions (found here) existed.

    In 2011 Wilson was suspended for four years following her positive test for testosterone and clenbuterol. She appealed the decision, but it was upheld.

    As AW reported at the time, when Wilson was asked at a UKAD hearing to state any substances that might have led to the adverse finding, she mentioned a “multi-vitamin” drink provided by Skafidas, which she understood he obtained from a supplier in Germany. As she was being represented by Skafidas at the hearing, the investigating panel pointed out the potential for a conflict of interest, but after an adjournment, the pair returned to clarify it was no part of her defence or mitigation to suggest the drink as a possible source of the illegal substances.

    Read more at the AW website

    IAAF president Lord Coe is facing conflict of interest allegations after emails emerged suggesting he lobbied his predecessor over the hosting of the 2021 World Championships.

    Eugene, USA, was given the event without a bidding process, despite interest from the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

    A BBC investigation has uncovered emails which claim Coe - an ambassador for sports giant Nike and then vice-president of world athletics - "reached out" to Lamine Diack with his support for Eugene's bid.

    The Oregon city, which lost out to Doha with a 2019 bid, is closely associated with Nike.

    Leader of the Gothenburg bid at the time and former head of Interpol, Bjorn Eriksson, told the BBC that the conflict of interest allegations needed "an explanation".

    When asked about the allegations, Coe told the BBC he "did not lobby anyone" over Eugene's bid, but "encouraged them to re-enter another bidding cycle as they had a strong bid".

    The British former Olympic 1500m champion was elected as president of athletics' governing body in August. He received £63,000 from UK Sport to pay for his PR team as part of the election process and said the rest of his campaign was "privately funded".

    Coe says that all of his interests were declared to the IAAF's ethics committee and that his views on all the bids for the 2019 World Athletics Championships and Eugene's 2021 bid "are all a matter of public record".

    Senagalese Diack, 82, is being investigated over allegations he took payments for deferring sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

    After the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) independent commission reportrecommended Russia's athletics federation be suspended from international competition, Coe said track and field faced a "long way back" from a "shameful situation" - but that he was "more determined than ever" to lead the sport.

    The report's co-author Dick Pound will be publishing the second part of his report later this year, focusing on alleged IAAF corruption.

    How was the 2021 decision made?

    Coe had been on the IAAF evaluation commission which visited Doha, Eugene, and the other unsuccessful bidder for 2019, Barcelona.

    After its disappointment, Track Town USA, the organisation behind the Eugene bid - which is closely associated with Nike - quickly turned its attention to 2021, and began lobbying the IAAF.

    A report into the conduct of IAAF officials has a "wow factor", says Dick Pound - the man who helped compile it.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) commission investigation examined allegations of widespread doping in athletics and it led to Russia being provisionally banned from competition.

    The second part of the report - held back because of a police investigation - focuses on claims against the IAAF.

    "People will say how on earth could this happen," Pound said.

    "When we release this information, there will be a wow factor," the commission chairman told the Independent. 

    "It is a betrayal of what people in charge of the sport should be doing."

    The findings on athletics' governing body have not been released after a French police investigation began earlier this month into former IAAF presidentLamine Diack and former head of anti-doping Gabriel Dolle.

    Diack is being investigated over allegations he took bribes to cover up positive drugs tests. He has resigned from his position as honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, but has yet to respond to the claims.

    Pound said the part of his report focusing on allegations against the IAAF looked likely to be released in January.

    "One fear is that if we issue it on the Friday before Christmas, for example, no one will notice it and we want to have the maximum impact and deterrent," he said.

    All Russian athletes are currently banned from international competition until their country's athletics federation and anti-doping agency comply with IAAF rules.

    Pound has shown little sympathy with the clean competitors who have been embroiled in the saga.

    "I think those clean athletes have to pay the price of being part of a system that is fundamentally corrupt," the 73-year-old former Wada president said.

    "There will unfortunately be collateral damage and that's tough love."

    Athletics doping: Key questions answered following Wada report

    Athletics has been shaken by the doping allegations contained in the World Anti-Doping Association's (Wada) independent report - but who is involved and what might it mean for the future of athletics?

    What are the key findings?

    • Russia is alleged to have 'sabotaged' London 2012 through systemic doping: Many of Russia's athletes at London 2012 had suspicious doping profiles, including 800m champion Mariya Savinova.
    • Some athletes are alleged to have refused and avoided tests: Athletes refused to take doping tests, gave incorrect phone numbers to anti-doping officials, paid money to cover up positive tests and returned from doping bans early.
    • Some doctors, coaches and lab staff were in on the alleged cover-up:Doctors and coaches provided banned substances to athletes, coaches and team officials hindered and bullied anti-doping officials, and laboratory personnel destroyed samples and covered up positive tests.
    • And so too was the Russian government: The Russian security service FSB allegedly operated a "culture of intimidation" at the anti-doping labs, and it was "inconceivable" that Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko did not know what was going on.
    • The IAAF was 'inexplicably lax' in tackling the problem: Athletics' global governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations failed to deal with the problem until it was too late, delaying its investigation of individual cases so long that suspect athletes were allowed to compete in London.
    • Wada needs more money: The World Anti-Doping Agency's budget of $30m (£20m) a year is too small for it to be effective. It needs more investigators and more resources to increase its educational efforts.
    • Other countries could be cheating too: Report co-author Dick Pound said the revelations surrounding Russia were "just the tip of the iceberg". He alleged that Kenya "has a real problem with doping and has been very slow to acknowledge it".
    • Russia could be suspended from the 2016 Olympics: That is therecommendation of the Wada report, if Russia does not "volunteer to take remedial work". IAAF president Lord Coe says the governing body will wait for Russia's response before deciding on a sanction on Friday.

    Damian Collins

    Damian Collins is a Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee member

    The efforts of Vin Lananna, Track Town USA's chief, paid off and in April this year at an IAAF meeting in Beijing, Diack announced a surprise vote on whether to bypass a normal bidding process, and simply hand the 2021 games to Eugene.

    Several IAAF council members have told the BBC that Diack made clear his support for Eugene, and urged his fellow members to follow suit. The secret vote was carried by 23-1, with one abstention.

    A bid process did not take place when the Japanese city of Osaka was awarded the 2007 World Championships.

    What was the reaction?

    Eugene, Oregon Nike Prefontaine Classic
    Eugene stages the Prefontaine Classic every year, part of the IAAF Diamond League

    Eriksson, the then head of Swedish athletics who was in charge of Gothenburg's bid, told the BBC he had been personally assured by both Coe and Diack that it would get a chance to bid for 2021.

    "The idea we don't even get the chance to deliver an offer, we don't get the chance to be judged," he said. "That makes me still furious."

    Eriksson is now demanding answers over whether Coe himself played any role in the process.

    Coe told the BBC he believed the 2021 games would only be awarded after a bidding process until the IAAF council meeting in April, at which Diack told its members to award the event to Eugene.

    Lananna is on record as saying that neither Nike nor Coe had anything to do with the bidding process, other than Coe's right to vote on it as an IAAF member.

    So what was in the email?

    The BBC has obtained an internal Nike email that could throw doubt on that claim.

    The email, dated 30 January 2015, is from Craig Masback, director of business affairs for Nike's Global Sports Marketing, to Lananna and Robert Fasulo, both from Track Town USA.

    Masback was chief executive for USA Track and Field (USATF) for more than 10 years before joining Nike in 2008.

    The email, titled '2021' and in which Coe is referred to as "Seb", reads: "I spoke with Seb this morning. We covered several topics but I asked specifically about 2021.

    "He made clear his support for 2021 in Eugene but made equally clear he had reached out to Diack specifically on this topic and got a clear statement from Diack that 'I am not going to take any action at the April meeting (in Beijing) to choose a 2021 site'."

    Yet it was at that April meeting of the IAAF's council that Diack announced the surprise vote on giving the championships directly to Eugene.

    Analysis by BBC sport editor Dan Roan:
    "This is the last thing athletics needs when it is trying to regain much-needed confidence and trust back from the public just weeks after a damning Wada report which revealed systemic-state sponsored doping in Russia.
    "That led to the country being banned from international competition and allegations of extortion and cover-ups at the IAAF. Lord Coe is now the man at the helm and it is his job to clean up track and field.
    "The problem he faces is that many have questioned whether it is right that one of the world's leading sportswear manufacturers, Nike, pays him a reported six-figure sum each year to be a brand ambassador.
    "Next week he will appear before a parliamentary committee and MPs are almost certain to ask him why he was in discussion with a senior Nike executive over the 2021 games and whether the time has come for him to end that association."

    What happened next?

    Other emails seen by the BBC reveal that Lananna made at least one trip to Europe to visit Diack a few weeks after this email was written.

    And by 15 April 2015, Track Town USA's campaign had paid off.

    "We got 24 hours' notice of this vote and it was made clear to us what Lamine wanted - he wanted Eugene to get these championships," an IAAF council member told the BBC. The decision was announced on 16 April.

    'It smells and needs investigating'

    1995 World Athletics Championships at Gothenburg
    Gothenburg last hosted the World Athletics Championships in 1995

    The BBC showed the emails to Eriksson, who is also the former president of international police organisation Interpol.

    "It doesn't look good. It doesn't good at all. I would very much [like to] hear the explanation for this," Eriksson said. "I've never seen it before.

    "I would very much like to hear how could this be explained. It is a very good question to Sebastian Coe. What is this?"

    Asked how he felt about the whole 2021 process, Eriksson said: "It smells and it has to be investigated. That's for the sport, for everybody involved."

    Eriksson also cautioned Coe on his association with Nike, which is reported to be worth around £100,000 per year to the double Olympic gold medallist.

    He said: "I'd say it doesn't help at all, I'd say it's a major problem."

    Damian Collins

    Damian Collins is a Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee member

    What about Nike's role in this?

    While Nike is not an official IAAF sponsor, it could benefit from the games being held in Eugene.

    Nike is a global superpower in athletics - particularly in the USA where it has a sponsorship deal with USATF until 2040 - but came in for criticism when it re-signed twice-banned American sprinter Justin Gatlin.

    It is also the kit sponsor for the Russian athletics federation - the subject of a recent, damning report by a Wada independent commission.

    And earlier this year, the elite Nike Oregon Project training camp and its coach Alberto Salazar was at the centre of doping allegations by BBC Panorama, which have been denied, but remain the subject of a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation.

    Lord Coe's responses to the BBC

    Q: Did you lobby the IAAF and/or Lamine Diack on behalf of Eugene 2021? If so, given your role with Nike and Nike's close association with Eugene and Track Town USA, what would you say to those who would consider this to be a conflict of interest?

    A: No, I did not lobby anyone on behalf of the Eugene 2021 bid. After their narrow defeat for the 2019 Championships I encouraged them to re-enter another bidding cycle as they had a strong bid. My views on all the bids for the 2019 World Athletics Championships (including Eugene) are a matter of record as I was chair of the evaluation commission for those bids. All my interests were, and continue to be, fully declared to the IAAF ethics committee and listed at the House of Lords.

    Q: Did you ever discuss the Eugene 2021 bid with any Nike employee, official or executives? If so, with whom, and when?

    A: Not unless I was asked if Eugene should rebid to which I would have replied 'yes' given how close they came to winning and the strength of their bid. My views are all a matter of public record as the media covered this extensively at the time.

    Q: Did you tell any Nike employee, official or executive in January 2015, that you were in favour of the IAAF World Championships coming to Eugene in 2021? If so, given your position at the IAAF, what would you say to those who would consider this advance statement of support to be a conflict of interest?

    A: I have long believed we should have a World Championship for athletics in the USA given the strength and size of this market and have had discussions with US Track and Field, the USOC (United States Olympic Committee), and cities and states in the USA many times. It is up to those organisations to put forward the proposal of a city, not me.

    Q: The BBC has been told by Swedish Athletics that it was assured by you personally, as well as by Lamine Diack, that the 2021 games would only be awarded after a bidding process. Did you say this? If so, how do you then explain what happened?

    A: I would have done as that was my view right up to the council meeting in Beijing when president Diack told the council of 25 people there were political and financial considerations in terms of the way the funding package came together for Eugene that may not be present again and we should award 2021 to Eugene. The overwhelming majority of IAAF council members from all parts of the globe decided to take the world track and field championships into a market where we have never been before. The situation was unusual but not unprecedented. A bid process did not take place when Osaka was awarded the 2007 World Championships. The process for bidding is already being reviewed as part of a wide range of reforms currently being prepared.

    Q: The BBC understands that a significant amount of public money, via UK Sport, was made available to you to help fund your presidential campaign. In light of the events at the IAAF, which some say stands accused of being "worse than Fifa", do you believe this was good value for money for the UK taxpayer? If so, why?

    A: I am very grateful for UK Sport's assistance. It was offered to me, and to others, as part of UK Sport's role to promote the UK's sporting interests internationally by assisting with the appointment of individuals into key international roles. Two thirds of the campaign was privately funded.

    Q: UK Sport has confirmed that it provided £63,000 worth of funding to pay for your PR team at Vero. Can you confirm how you funded the rest of the campaign? ie. travel and expenses?

    A: Two-thirds of the campaign was privately funded.

    NAIROBI, November 23- Operations at Athletics Kenya (AK) Riadha House headquarters were paralysed on Monday morning after the building was placed under siege by a group aligned to Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK).

    The protestors led by the association’s Secretary General, Julius Ndegwa, stormed the premises shortly after 7:30am local time (+3GMT) and went round the offices asking federation staff to leave their offices.

    They then commandeered the gate, refusing anyone to access the headquarters located along Nairobi’s Aerodrome Road with the group growing to around 50 by midday as they plastered their banners and placards on the gates.

    Ndegwa said their main grievance was the spike in doping and alleged misappropriation of funds by federation president, Isaiah Kiplagat, and one of his Vice-Presidents; David Okeyo who are being investigated by CID and lately, world governing body IAAF Ethics Commission for allegedly siphoning over Sh70m from sponsors Nike.

    “We are demanding for AK top officials to resign reason being they are under investigation and we believe they have been brought this country down in terms of athletics. Taxation has never reduced since they entered office.

    “Our country is bigger that Kiplagat (Isaiah) and Okeyo (David) who I understand stole money from Nike and doping conspiracy. We as athletes have decided enough is enough for this corrupt people to stay in office,” Ndengwa underscored.

    They are also pressing for PAAK to be given voting powers under a new AK Constitution whilst seeking recognition as the main body to manage athlete’s affairs.

    “The AK constitution does not feature an athlete whether former or active and I believe we are going to burn it today (Monday) and amend a new one that is going to favour us. We are going to stay here until these things are addressed by the Kiplagat and Okeyo so we will sleep here because this is out time to get our freedom.

    “We gave them a chance but they have done nothing and they are not ready to change. We have former athletes who are competent to take over,” Ndegwa who is an Administration police (AP) officer declared.

    “We do not recognise this group. I don’t know who they are because I have not engaged them since I have been locked out. PAAK are not our members. We have called Government security agency to come and assist us in this because we don’t have the capacity. This has now become a security issue,” another AK vice-president, Lt. Gen (Rtd), Jack Tuwei, told Capital Sport with heavy security watching over the group that is camped at Riadha vowing they will not vacate the building until their demands are met.

    Efforts by Tuwei and CEO, Isaac Mwangi to reach an agreement were thwarted after Ndegwa turned down their request of allowing them in to sit down with five of their members and hear their grievances.

    AP officers from Lang’ata station were also barred from accessing the building as the AK officials and workers were locked out for more than nine hours.

    “It’s very unfortunate because if anybody has any grievances this is not the way to do things. There are more civilized way of doing things which is to come and engage the authorities and discus.

    “But to come and invade the office and lock out everybody, to me it’s not right. Changing the constitution is not an event it’s a process and everybody has the right to give an opinion so that it can be included when amending or making the constitution.

    “At the moment we have discussed with the Executive Committee about the constitution on how we are going to go about it and we have even formed a committee who are continuing looking at it,” Tuwei told.

    Commenting on doping, the vice chairman declared, “any information we have received about athletes who have failed dope test we have followed the procedure as per the World Anti-Doping Agency and IAAF regulations and we have cautioned and taken action up to the very end.

    Speaking separately, federation CEO, Isaac Mwangi, said “We have not talked to them. We will listen to their grievances.”

    Retired athletes among them women’s 400m hurdles national record holder, Rose Tata Muya Tata, former African record holder in 3000m, Justina Jepchirchir and Joshua Chelang’a joined the protestors in a demonstration that did not feature any world famous athlete.

    Former world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang, who is PAAK’s chairman, did not turn up as expected by the protesters, with an AK National Executive meeting that was due to be held on Monday morning put off as the top brass converged behind the building together with staff.

    Marta Dominguez
    Marta Dominguez crossing the line first in the 3,000m steeplechase at Berlin 2009

    Spanish middle-distance runner Marta Dominguez has been stripped of her 2009 world steeplechase title and given a three-year doping ban.

    Dominguez, 40, was accused of doping in 2013 when abnormalities were found in her blood passport dating back to 2009.

    But the Spanish athletics federation, of which Dominguez had been a vice-president, cleared her in 2014.

    However, that decision has now been reversed on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

    The appeal came from the IAAF, the sport's governing body, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

    Dominguez claimed her anomalous readings were caused by a medical condition.

    But Cas said that explanation was not "sufficient" to dissuade it from "scientific evidence" of an anti-doping violation presented by IAAF and Wada experts.

    Dominguez's results between 5 August 2009 and 8 July 2013 have been disqualified, which means she loses her Berlin 2009 gold and 2010 European 3,000m steeplechase silver medal.

    The athlete who came second to Dominguez in Berlin was Russia's Yuliya Zaripova, who is serving a two-and-a-half year ban for doping that is subject to another appeal.

    Dominguez retains her 5,000m silver medals from the 2001 and 2003 World Championships.

    She was acquitted in 2011 of distributing performance-enhancing drugs after being charged as part of Operation Galgo - an investigation into doping in Spanish athletics.

    A Russian marathon runner has been disqualified and faces further sanctions after winning a race in Japan at a time when his country is under suspension from global athletics, the IAAF said on Tuesday.

    Viktor Ugarov won the Kanazawa marathon on Sunday, two days after Russia wasprovisionally suspended from competition by the International Association of Athletics Federations following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

    “The event organiser is disqualifying his record and no appearance or prize money will be paid,” the IAAF told the Associated Press, adding that it would write to the Russian federation seeking disciplinary proceedings against Ugarov.

    Athletics governing body suspends Russia from all competitions

    Read more

    Ugarov’s winning time of two hours 17 minutes, 19 seconds was briefly listed on the IAAF website as a new personal best. The IAAF called the listing a “technical issue” and later removed it from the site.

    The Russian athletics federation general secretary, Mikhail Butov, told AP that he had not heard that Ugarov had competed in Sunday’s race but said the case would be looked into.

    “We couldn’t physically inform each athlete, so it’s probably more of a problem for the organisers who allowed the athlete to take part in the competition,” Butov said.

    The Russian federation said on its website: “Athletes who break the suspension and those who compete abroad are in danger of sanctions from the ARAF, including suspension.”

    In a separate case, the Japanese athletics federation said Russian Olympic bronze medalist Tatyana Arkhipova was prevented from taking part in Sunday’s Saitama marathon because of Russia’s suspension.

    Under the terms of Russia’s ban, Russian athletes can only compete within Russia in domestic events until the suspension is lifted. Russian officials have promised reforms and said they want to be able to compete again within three months, in time for the world indoor track and field championships in Portland in March.

    Also on Tuesday, a Russian Paralympic runner received a nine-month suspension after testing positive for a cannabis-related substance. The International Paralympic Committee said Alexander Zverev’s ban runs to 5 May.

    Zverev won a silver medal in the 400m at the 2012 Paralympics in London. He competed in the T13 classification for partially sighted athletes.

    Jeptoo urged to reveal doping secrets

    17 November 2015, 15:40

    Disgraced Kenyan woman marathoner Rita Jeptoo has been urged to break her silence by her former coach and reveal the people behind her failed dope test to save the country's future generation.

    Italian Claudio Berardelli, who served as Jeptoo's coach since 2011, told major Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation on Tuesday that Jeptoo and her former training mate, Agatha Jeruto, who is also serving a four-year ban for similar drug offences, could help clean up the sport in the east African nation.

    "It's a big mistake when they continue to keep quiet while they know who are behind their cases," Berardelli told the Nation.

    "I convinced Jeptoo to come out, and in fact told her to get in touch with the media and tell her story but I don't know why she had a change of heart."

    Two-time Boston marathon champion, Jeptoo became Kenya's first high-profile athlete to fail a test after being caught doping with the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO, and was subsequently suspended for two years.

    Jeptoo has always denied doping and has challenged her suspension.

    Berardelli, who announced the severing of his relationship with Jeptoo after her doping was revealed, said he had tried to convince the athletes to talk.

    "I swear I have tried to have Jeptoo and Jeruto talk, but these athletes seem scared. We really need to find a way to have them talk and save this country," Berardelli said, according to the newspaper.

    Over 30 Kenyan athletes have been suspended and five more banned since 2012 after testing positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.

    Many in Kenya fear doping is rife among their top class athletes too – runners who have been the source of enormous national pride.

    Kenya on Saturday, under scrutiny amid allegations of widespread doping in world athletics, on Saturday announced the immediate establishment of an anti-doping agency.

    Defending Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo has received a two-year ban from competition for failed drug tests, according to an announcement by Athletics Kenya on Friday.

    The news follows a hearing held by Athletics Kenya two weeks ago and potentially places Jeptoo’s major marathon titles and records in jeopardy, including the course record (2 hours 18 minutes 57 seconds) she set at last year’s Boston Marathon. Jeptoo is a three-time Boston Marathon champion (2006, 2013, 2014) and a two-time Chicago Marathon winner (2013, 2014).

    In a statement released Friday morning, the Boston Athletic Association said it “will now evaluate the effect of the results of that hearing and penalty on Ms. Jeptoo’s results at the Boston Marathon.” Additionally, the BAA plans to gather as much information as possible about Jeptoo’s drug violations.

    “In fairness to everybody, we will want to know what the final facts are,” Tom Grilk, BAA executive director, told the Globe. “We will assess those against history. Are there facts that would support a review of her most recent victory? Are there facts that would support a review of her eligibility to be considered a course record-holder? Without having all of that, I can’t say what it will be. But we will be exhaustive in our review.”

    At the same time, we are out to insure the integrity of the event, the sport, and to be fair to the people who compete fairly.”

    Grilk added that he hopes the whole process, including potential appeals, comes to a conclusion soon. And that’s not just because he would like the matter closed before the 2015 Boston Marathon on April 20, but because “the longer these things drag on, the harder they are on everybody.”

    Jeptoo’s claim on the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors title is in limbo, too.

    The organizers of the World Marathon Majors series — which includes the Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London, New York City, and Tokyo marathons — also issued a statement Friday. They said that the women’s winner “will not be announced until the completion of due process by the [track and field governing body] IAAF and the outcome of any appeal by Jeptoo.”

    No runner who violates international anti-doping rules can win the World Marathon Majors series.

    Last September, a few weeks before she won her second Chicago Marathon, Jeptoo, 33, tested positive for the blood-booster EPO, which dramatically improves endurance. A “B” sample tested last December also came back positive. Jeptoo’s estranged husband, Noah Busienei, testified at the Athletics Kenya hearing this month. In the past, Busienei has stated that he believes his wife started doping in 2011 as she came back from a break in training due to childbirth.

    Jeptoo’s two-year ban will be backdated to October 2014, prohibiting her from participation in next year’s Rio Olympics. Under the old World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules that govern positive tests registered in 2014, two years is the maximum punishment allowed for a first violation. As of Jan. 1, the new minimum penalty for a first-time offense is a four-year suspension. Jeptoo can appeal her two-year ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Shalane Flanagan, who competed against Jeptoo in Boston in 2013 and 2014, is certain the Kenyan took performance-enhancing drugs. Watching Jeptoo win the 2013 Chicago Marathon in 2:19:57 then jump around at the finish line, Flanagan became suspicious. Then, after learning Jeptoo closed the 2014 Boston Marathon with speed comparable to the men’s leaders, Flanagan said “something didn’t seem right.”

    Reached by phone Friday, Flanagan said she also wonders about the legitimacy of the women’s results in the 2013 Boston Marathon. Still, the Olympian raised in Marblehead knows it’s difficult to rewrite history.

    “It’s really hard to go back now and take her out of the record books, unless you have an actual positive test [that dates before the 2013 Boston or Chicago marathons],” said Flanagan. “So, I don’t really know how to deal with that. It’s really unfortunate . . . In my first Boston Marathon, I believe I should have been third place, not fourth place. But you can’t get those moments back.”

    Flanagan would like to see Jeptoo and others caught doping face a lifetime ban. And she would like to see governing bodies “start penalizing the entourage that surrounds these athletes because it’s not just the athletes that are doping. They’re being supported by other people who are helping them attain the drugs.”

    That said, Flanagan praised the efforts of the World Marathon Majors. She added that, “Even if Rita does come back and competes, I do not believe she will be invited back to any of the World Major Marathons.”

    Meanwhile, the BAA and World Marathon Majors reiterated their commitment to keep the sport clean.

    “Drugs and doping in our sport will not be tolerated, and we will work with our partners in the Abbott World Marathon Majors, as well as the IAAF and WADA, to assure the continued implementation and rigorous observance and oversight of the strictest of standards in order to keep our sport clean,” said Grilk as part of the BAA’s statement.

    “We already have severe and defined penalties, but the Rita Jeptoo case has brought to light the need to work yet further in that regard to ensure our sport. We are deeply disappointed in the findings involving Rita Jeptoo, and we are committed to upholding the integrity and credibility of the Boston Marathon.”

    Kenya and Ethiopia have long dominated international distance running.

    In the Boston Marathon, Kenyans have won 11 of the last 15 women’s races and 19 of the last 24 men’s races.

    Jeptoo is the highest profile Kenyan runner to be banned for doping and her case naturally raises suspicions about her compatriots.

    Jeptoo’s positive test and punishment also comes as Kenya struggles with an increase in positive tests by its athletes.

    According to reports, Athletics Kenya has banned or suspended more than 30 athletes over the past five years for performance-enhancing drug use. And WADA has asked Kenya to improve its drug-testing process.

    Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who could be upgraded to the World Marathon Majors winner, told the AP, “[Jeptoo’s] positive test has made it very difficult for us. We keep on being asked about doping every time we go to compete out there and I’m hoping that her punishment will make others stop engaging in this bad thing.”

    “I hope the [ban] will deter Kenyan athletes to stop taking shortcuts. It will be a lesson for others. It’s unfortunate since nobody wants anyone to be banned. If you take something like EPO, which is injected as a professional athlete, it is obvious you know what you are putting in your body.”

    Eight unidentified competitors at the recent All-Africa Games in Brazzaville have produced adverse analytical findings (AAFs), in spite of a doping control programme severely criticised as “ineffective from the start” by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent observer.

    The athletes in question are said to comprise three weightlifters, two wrestlers and three track and field competitors.

    However, no further information is at present available.

    According to the independent observer’s report, “despite repeated attempts, the [independent observer] team has not received any information regarding these eight AAFs…

    “We are unaware of the athlete’s name, whether he/she won a medal, etc.”

    The 16-day event in the Republic of Congo’s capital city in September saw some 8,000 athletes from 54 nations compete in 20 sports.

    Egypt topped the medals table with 78 golds.

    The eight-page independent observer report paints a picture of a problem-plagued doping control operation that it describes as “chaotic and unorganised”.

    In one extraordinary example of the shortcomings experienced, doping control officers (DCOs) actually staged a one-day strike on September 15, the day of the 20 kilometre walk races and a men’s football semi-final involving the host nation.

    NAIROBI (Reuters) - A senior Kenyan athletics official has denied siphoning off cash from a sponsorship deal between U.S. sportswear manufacturer Nike and the East African nation famous for its middle and long distance runners.

    Britain's Sunday Times and local Kenyan newspapers alleged Athletics Kenya (AK) vice president David Okeyo and two other senior federation officials made personal withdrawals from an AK account in which Nike deposited sponsorship money.

    Kenyan police have questioned all three officials in relation to the withdrawals and on Sunday world governing body, The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said it had referred Okeyo to its ethics committee.

    Okeyo said in a statement there was "no embezzlement of funds" whatsoever on his part.

    "The funds are fully accounted for by Athletics Kenya and approved by the Annual General Meeting having gone through auditing process," he said.

    Okeyo added that the deal with Nike was transparent and denied any cash was missing.

    "I have noted various stories that have run in the media and are trending in the social media on the Nike/Athletics Kenya contract. I wish to state that the said contract was above board and was executed with integrity," he said.   

    Okeyo said he was waiting for investigations to finish and did not wish to comment further in the media.

    Police have said Okeyo and two other AK officials recorded statements with the Kenyan Directorate of Criminal Investigations over cash withdrawals by the three on various dates as far back as 2011.

    The IAAF informed its Ethics Commission about accusations against Okeyo this weekend when the Sunday Times cited court documents from a whistle-blower. Kenyan media made near-identical allegations at the start of the year.

    "The IAAF was not aware of the investigation into Mr Okeyo in Kenya and the information has immediately been passed on to the independent IAAF Ethics Commission," the IAAF said in a statement.

    "As part of the root and branch governance reform project that (IAAF president) Sebastian Coe has announced there will be new processes introduced to ensure all persons appointed to IAAF Commissions and advisory groups in the future have been only duly vetted and declared as fit and proper persons to hold office."

    AK denies doping coverup

    Athletics Kenya,AK, has turned up the heat on Paul Kibet Simbolei, the alleged whistleblower coach, labelling him a scam who has been fleecing runners by issuing fake clearance letters.

    AK President Isaiah Kiplagat has also denied doping cover-ups and bribery claims made by the coach.

    Kibet, a former marathoner now turned trainer, has accused senior Athletics Kenya officials of receiving money from athletes in exchange of less severe doping bans.

    He claimed he had been receiving death threats since he spoke on the doping syndicate in the reports carried by German Television ARD and British Newspaper Sunday Times.

    Athletics Kenya Chief Executive officer Isaac Mwangi told sportsnewsarena.com that they were stunned by the allegations from a ‘conman’ who is being sought by AK for issuing fake clearance letters.

    “His claims on AK officials are baseless. Infact we have been looking for him and a Mr.Derrick Mugirwa for running a parallel clearing agency after being alerted by Embassies and athletes,” alleged Mwangi.

    “We have received letters from Embassies forged by the two of them clearing athletes seeking visas for races abroad. They have been forging Athletics Kenya letters and issuing to athletes as purported clearance letters from us.”

    Athletes are required to have a mandatory clearance letter from AK before entering races abroad which is also part of the documentation they present to embassies when they are applying for visas.

    Simbolei denies claims

    Simbolei,36, who trains athletes at the Kamariny stadium in Iten has denied the allegations adding that he is now a wanted man over his ‘unpatriotic’ exposé.

    “These days I have to operate secretly,” a visibly fearful Simbolei, told our reporter Emmanuel Sabuni from Iten on Sunday, as he nervously scanned his surroundings.

    “I never did that. I have never done anything wrong to any athlete or any official. I only told the world how AK is rotten from the inside especially officials who take money from suspected doped athletes to give them a letter to go and compete out the country or run local races,” he said.

    Simbolei said he has been reluctant to report his fears to the local police whom he believes have been compromised. He claimed that a friend who is a policeman had warned him of the plot following his unflattering revelations.

    “My friend in the police informed me of the plot to kill me and warned me against going to train at Kamariny on a particular day. On that day four plain-cloth police officers were spotted at the training grounds and were asking around for me,” claimed Simbolei as he repeated what he had told the investigative journalists.

    “If an athlete is accused of doping, instead of AK banning the athlete, they clear him or her for competitions and get a cut from his earnings. If she is a lady, they can claim she used family planning drugs and if he is a man, they use dubious means to ensure that he competes as long as he gets them their share of his race earnings.”

    Coverups impossible,Kiplagat

    An accusation that AK president Isaiah Kiplagat denied arguing it was not logically possible to manipulate results that are tested out of the country at neutral centers.

    “We send all samples from our local events abroad for testing at an authorized laboratory for lack of a testing center here in the country. Once the results are out they are sent to us, IAAF and the athlete is informed. So how can we alter or cover up results from an overseas testing center?” posed Kiplagat.

    “The sanctions are clearly stipulated for each doping offence so the question of leniency is not possible. It is even harder to monitor the out of competition tests because sometimes we are not even aware when they are done and only know when we receive the results.”

    Kiplagat said he welcomed the cabinet approval of fast tracking of the establishment of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, ADAK, as AK seeks to streamline the rising doping cases as recommended by the World Anti Doping Agency.

    In a meeting convened last Friday at State House Nairobi the Cabinet set out the objectives of the Anti Doping Agency and spelt out its mandate which will include doping control in the country, promote the integrity of drug-free sports in the country and also prosecution.

    To date about 34 runners have failed tests and have been sanctioned for doping violations,including former Chicago and Boston winner Rita Jeptoo who is currently serving a ban for EPO. 

    AK apologises to Wilson Kipsang

    At the same time Athletics Kenya has apologized to former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, for publishing his missed out of competition test last November.

    The 2015 London marathon runner up had accused AK of malicious intent of quieting him as the chairman of the then vocal Professional Athletics Association of Kenya, PAAK by publishing what had already been recorded by the IAAF as a missed test. PAAK had been at the forefront of calling for change of guard at Riadha House amidst rising positive cases amongst Kenyan athletes.

    An athlete is sanctioned once he/she has missed three out-of-competition drug tests.

     “The Panel of the IAAF Ethics Commission has since determined that whereas Athletics Kenya had no malicious intent in publishing the said information, the publication nonetheless was in violation of AK's confidentiality obligation under Article C7 of the IAAF Code of Ethics which prohibits persons’ subject to the Code from at any time disclosing information entrusted to them in confidence.

    "In view of the foregoing, Athletics Kenya hereby tenders an unequivocal apology to Mr. Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich for the said publication,” read the brief statement from AKv.

    • I.