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Corruption 'embedded' in the IAAF, says Wada report

By Matthew Campelli    15 Jan 2016
Wada commission leader Dick Pound presented the findings at a news conference in Munich / Flickr/Around the rings1992

The second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) independent commission has damned the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) - claiming that “corruption was imbedded in the organisation”.

Presented in Munich, Germany, yesterday (14 January) by Wada’s independent commission chair Dick Pound, the report dismissed suggestions that the scale of doping in Russian athletics was unknown by the governing body.

The report stated that the IAAF Council, which included now president Sebastian Coe at the time, “could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules”.

It also claimed that the IAAF was “insufficiently firm” with dealing with a number of countries, including Russia regarding compliance and administration of out-of-competition testing, as well as an “evident lack of political appetite” within the organisation to confront Russia over the extent of its suspected doping activities.

“Failure to have addressed such governance issues is an IAAF failure that cannot be blamed on a small group on miscreants. The opportunity existed for the IAAF to have addressed governance issues. No advantage was taken of that opportunity,” added the report, although it confirmed that former president Lamine Diack, who is under investigation by French police, “sanctioned and appears to have had personal knowledge or fraud and the extortion of athletes carried out by the actions of the informal illegitimate governance structure he put in place”.

Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, former All-Russia Athletic Federation president Valentin Balakhnichev, ex-ARAF coach Alexei Melnikov and Gabriell Dolle, the former director of the IAAF anti-doping department, were banned for life by the IAAF last week for conspiring to blackmail athletes who had committed doping offences.

Coe, present at the conference, saw his close colleague, Nick Davies, accused of being “well aware of Russian ‘skeletons’ in the cupboard”, with Wada quoting an email between Davies and Papa Massata Diack from July 2013. Davies stepped down last month.

The second part of the report follows the preceding installment which uncovered state-sponsored doping in Russia in November last year, leading to the nation being suspended from competition indefinitely.

UK sports minister Tracey Crouch said the findings were “extremely alarming”, adding: “It raises huge questions about governance at the IAAF that have to be addressed as a matter of absolute urgency.”

In a statement following the conference, Coe said the findings were "abhorrent" and a "gross betrayal of trust by those involved".

"Even though each of the impacted doping cases was eventually resolved with lengthy bans for the athletes involved, I recognise that the IAAF still has an enormous task ahead of it to restore public confidence," he added. "We cannot change the past, but I am determined that we will learn from it and will not repeat its mistakes."

Wada  International Association of Athletics Federation  Sebastian Coe 
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