Scottish Daily Mail

New scan­dal in Kenya piles pres­sure on trou­bled Coe

- By MATT LAWTON Athletics · Sports · Kenya · International Association of Athletics Federations · ARD · ARD (broadcaster) · The Sunday Times · Sebastian Coe, Baron Coe · London · Gazprom · Russia · World Anti-Doping Agency · Portland · Oregon · Monaco · AS Monaco FC · United Kingdom · UK Athletics · Athletics Kenya · Lamine Diack · Colorado School of Mines

THE In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions de­scended deeper into cri­sis last night with an­other se­nior of­fi­cial at the world gov­ern­ing body un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion amid al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion. A fresh scan­dal ex­posed by dop­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tors at Ger­man broad­caster ARD, and pub­lished yes­ter­day by The Sun­day Times, sug­gests IAAF coun­cil mem­ber David Okeyo was among three Kenyan ath­let­ics of­fi­cials who al­legedly si­phoned more than £450,000 from money paid to Ath­let­ics Kenya (AK) as part of their spon­sor­ship deal with Nike. Okeyo, AK’s vice-pres­i­dent and for­mer sec­re­tary-gen­eral, chair­man Isa­iah Ki­pla­gat and for­mer trea­surer Joseph Kinyua have been ques­tioned by po­lice in Kenya amid ac­cu­sa­tions that they paid them­selves, mostly in cash, from the na­tional fed­er­a­tion’s bank ac­count. At a time when Kenyan ath­let­ics is al­ready in the spot­light over a rash of pos­i­tive tests, there are fur­ther claims that when Nike rene­go­ti­ated their deal with AK in 2003, ‘hon­o­raria’ pay­ments were promised to the same three of­fi­cials. The IAAF re­leased a state­ment yes­ter­day, say­ing: ‘We were not aware of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Mr Okeyo in Kenya and the in­for­ma­tion has im­me­di­ately been passed on to the in­de­pen­dent IAAF ethics com­mis­sion. ‘As (Pres­i­dent) Se­bas­tian Coe has an­nounced, there will be new pro­cesses in­tro­duced to en­sure all ap­point­ments to IAAF com­mis­sions and ad­vi­sory groups in the fu­ture have been duly vet­ted and de­clared as ‘fit and proper per­sons’ to hold of­fice. ‘Over 200 peo­ple were due to be ap­pointed to new com­mis­sions and ad­vi­sory groups at the coun­cil meet­ing at the end of this month but their ap­point­ment will now be de­layed un­til the new pro­ce­dures are in place.’ For­mer IAAF pres­i­dent Lamine Di­ack, his son Papa Mas­sata Di­ack, le­gal ad­vi­sor Habib Cisse and the for­mer IAAF anti-dop­ing chief Gabriel Dolle are al­ready be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by French po­lice over al­le­ga­tions they ac­cepted bribes to cover up the pos­i­tive tests of Rus­sian drug cheats. The IAAF will hold a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing in Lon­don next month af­ter the gov­ern­ing body charged Papa Mas­sata Di­ack, Valentin Balakhnich­ev, Alexei Mel­nikov, and Dolle with al­leged breaches of the IAAF code of ethics. But the fact that a mem­ber of the same coun­cil that voted for the sus­pen­sion of the Rus­sian Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion is now un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion causes fur­ther em­bar­rass­ment to the or­gan­i­sa­tion and its pres­i­dent. Lord Coe has so far re­fused to stand down from his £100,000-ayear po­si­tion as an am­bas­sador of Nike but now the Amer­i­can sports­wear gi­ant finds it­self linked to a po­lice cor­rup­tion in­quiry in Kenya. Yes­ter­day there was fur­ther dis­com­fort for Coe in the form of a con­nec­tion be­tween him and one of Rus­sian Ath­let­ics’ lead­ing spon­sors. While Coe’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­sist he has al­ways de­clared any po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est un­der the rules of the IAAF code of ethics, it has been high­lighted that CSM — the in­ter­na­tional sports mar­ket­ing firm Coe leads as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man — counts top Rus­sian Ath­let­ics spon­sor Gazprom among its clients. It may also con­cern Coe that Rus­sian of­fi­cials al­ready have a date in mind for the re­turn to in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics. The Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion have been told they must be­come WADA code-com­pli­ant be­fore any sus­pen­sion is lifted but Mikhail Bu­tov, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, has said he is ‘op­ti­mistic’ they will back by Fe­bru­ary — in time for the world in­door cham­pi­onship in March in Port­land, Ore­gon. That would surely please Nike when their head­quar­ters are close by and Rus­sia is among their spon­sored teams. Sports­mail has asked the IAAF to clar­ify the is­sue of ‘hon­o­raria’ pay­ments for its pres­i­dent af­ter be­ing told Di­ack was paid a daily hon­o­rar­ium of around £450. In his 16 years as pres­i­dent, that would have amounted to around £160,000 a year for an un­paid role. Di­ack cer­tainly en­joyed a lav­ish life­style be­fore stand­ing down, at 82, in the sum­mer. In ad­di­tion to pay­ments re­ceived, he had use of a ser­viced, £10,000-a-month apart­ment in Monaco. But it is un­der­stood some coun­cil mem­bers were con­cerned when Di­ack re­vealed in Au­gust he had been paid what amounted to a full-time salary as pres­i­dent. The IAAF de­clined to com­ment on the is­sue but Di­ack’s per­sonal ex­pen­di­ture is ex­pected to come un­der re­view. The fact Coe is not paid by the IAAF has been given as a rea­son why he has not re­lin­quished his role at Nike. But pres­sure on Coe and the gov­ern­ing body re­mains, with UK Ath­let­ics chief Ed Warner yes­ter­day ac­cus­ing them of be­ing too soft on Rus­sia. Warner told the BBC: ‘The ben­e­fits of the use of il­le­gal per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drugs per­sist well be­yond, for ex­am­ple, a two-year ban.’

 ??  ?? Un­wanted legacy: Coe (left) with his pre­de­ces­sor Di­ack
Un­wanted legacy: Coe (left) with his pre­de­ces­sor Di­ack

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