IAAF un­der fire

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BER­LIN:

The wanted son of ousted in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics pres­i­dent Lamine Di­ack took mil­lions of eu­ros from Rus­sian com­peti­tors in re­turn for “to­tal pro­tec­tion” from failed dop­ing tests, a new in­ves­ti­ga­tion said yes­ter­day. Ger­many’s ARD tele­vi­sion and France’s Le Monde news­pa­per said six ath­letes each paid be­tween 300,000 and 700,000 eu­ros ($318,000-$740,000) to top of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Papa Mas­sata Di­ack who is wanted by French author­i­ties but in hid­ing in his na­tive Sene­gal.

His fa­ther, Lamine Di­ack, is un­der house ar­rest in France. “The or­ga­nized cover-up of sus­pected dop­ing in the world of track and field has as such as­sumed a pre­vi­ously unimag­ined scale,” said ARD. “And once again, it is pri­mar­ily ath­letes from one nation un­der scru­tiny: Rus­sia.” The two me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions said their in­for­ma­tion were based on files held by Paris fi­nan­cial crime pros­e­cu­tors who are in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against the Di­acks.

At least six Rus­sian ath­letes had paid to have their sus­pi­cious dop­ing test re­sults cov­ered up, in­clud­ing long-dis­tance run­ner Liliya Shobukhova, walkers Va­leriy Borchin, Olga Kaniskina and Vladimir Kanaikin and Sergey Kirdyap­kin as well as steeple­chase run­ner Yuliya Zaripova, the re­port said. The me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions also quoted let­ters sent by the then pres­i­dent of Rus­sia’s ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion, Valentin Balakhnichev, who had threat­ened to go pub­lic with the dop­ing deal if the IAAF fails to of­fer the im­mu­nity it had promised. “Let us re­mind you that the back­ground of these six cases from the very be­gin­ning was very far from any le­gal and eth­i­cal frames,” ac­cord­ing to the let­ter ad­dressed to IAAF of­fi­cials by Balakhnichev dated July 30, 2014.

“You de­cided to use mul­ti­ple ABP (ath­lete bi­o­log­i­cal pass­port) vi­o­la­tions by the Rus­sian ath­letes as an ex­cel­lent way for your own pros­per­ity. In 2011, when we faced 19 shock­ing ABP cases in­clud­ing Olympic and world cham­pi­ons, you of­fered us a deal. “Nam­ing it as a deal, we are too much diplo­matic. It was cyn­i­cal and cruel black­mail,” he added. Balakhnichev stepped down from his post as Rus­sian ath­let­ics chief a week af­ter ARD aired its first doc­u­men­tary in De­cem­ber 2014 al­leg­ing sys­tem­atic dop­ing in Rus­sian ath­let­ics. In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­le­ga­tions have since un­cov­ered ram­pant Rus­sian state-run dop­ing at the Sochi Olympics and other events. —AFP

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