IAAF pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pends Fred­er­icks in pay­ment probe

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Four-time Olympic medal­ist Frank Fred­er­icks has been sus­pended from duty by track and field’s gov­ern­ing body, the IAAF, while he is in­ves­ti­gated for al­leged cor­rup­tion sus­pected of be­ing linked to the 2016 Olympics host­ing vote.

The in­de­pen­dent Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit said yes­ter­day that its re­quest for an in­terim ban on Fred­er­icks, a for­mer sprinter from Namibia, was granted by the IAAF dis­ci­plinary panel. Fred­er­icks, who is also an In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­ber, is separately be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the IOC ethics com­mis­sion over a near $300,000 pay­ment he re­ceived on Oct. 2, 2009 - the same day Rio de Janeiro won the 2016 Olympic host­ing vote in a four-city con­test.

French daily Le Monde al­leged in March that the pay­ment came from a Brazil­ian busi­ness­man and was chan­neled through a sports mar­ket­ing com­pany cre­ated by Papa Mas­sata Di­ack, the son of for­mer IAAF pres­i­dent Lamine Di­ack. Both Di­acks are im­pli­cated by French pros­e­cu­tors in a cor­rup­tion case that in­cludes ex­tort­ing money from ath­letes to cover up dop­ing.

Fred­er­icks de­nies wrong­do­ing, claim­ing the money was for con­tracted con­sul­tancy work. He pre­vi­ously of­fered to step aside from his IOC work and his IAAF du­ties ex­cept his seat on the rul­ing Coun­cil.

“I am not pre­pared to vol­un­tar­ily con­sent not to un­der­take my du­ties in re­spect of the po­si­tion I hold as IAAF Coun­cil Mem­ber,” Fred­er­icks wrote to the dis­ci­plinary panel. How­ever, he did agree to avoid at­tend­ing a meet­ing in Lon­don next month on the side­lines of the Aug. 4-13 world cham­pi­onships.

Fred­er­icks plans to con­test the sus­pen­sion at a hear­ing, the in­tegrity unit says. In its pub­lished in­terim rul­ing, the IAAF dis­ci­plinary panel said Fred­er­icks had the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence while un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Still, the panel chair­man noted that “Fred­er­icks has not, in the an­swers and ex­pla­na­tions he has pro­vided to date, dis­turbed the prima fa­cie case of mat­ters war­rant­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Those mat­ters in­clude “whether there was any con­nec­tion be­tween the Pay­ment and the IOC vote to award the 2016 sum­mer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro,” the IAAF panel said.

Fred­er­icks was seen as a ris­ing star in Olympic cir­cles un­til the case was re­ported. He had to re­sign as chair­man of the IOC panel eval­u­at­ing the bids of Los An­ge­les and Paris to host the 2024 Olympics, and agreed not to take part in that host­ing de­ci­sion due in Septem­ber.

The 49-year-old of­fi­cial won sil­ver medals in 100 and 200 me­ters at both the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 At­lanta Olympics. — AP

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