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July 04, 2020

Matthews and Collett Banned From Olympics

MUNICH, West Germany, Sept. 8 — The International Olympic Committee barred today two United States…
July 04, 2020

Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences

They stood there casually, one barefoot, hands on hips, the other in thoughtful repose, right…
July 04, 2020

Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced new guidelines on Thursday that ban athletes from making…
July 04, 2020

RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION

The IOC stands for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement,…
July 01, 2020

Lewis highlights racial discrimination and gender inequality in sports

"Olympic Order is the Olympic Movement highest award for distinguished contributions to sports. The list…
June 29, 2020

Black Lives Matter movement brings ex-IOC President Brundage under new scrutiny

When the Olympic Games were last held in Tokyo, American multi-millionaire Avery Brundage was President…
June 27, 2020

Opinion: Equality still remains an elusive goal

My professional life has been defined by three principles: excellence, integrity, equality. They were bred…

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Saturday, 04 July 2020 19:14
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The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, has called alleged bribery within athletics “abhorrent” after claims that his predecessor, Lamine Diack, received over €1m to cover up doping violations.

“That people in our sport have allegedly extorted money from athletes guilty of doping violations is abhorrent,” said Lord Coe in a statement sent to Reuters and Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
It was the former double Olympic champion’s first response to the latest crisis to hit the sport. Coe, who was elected president in August, also denied again that the governing body of athletics had been complacent in its handling of doping cases, as alleged by the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD.

Coe’s comments came after French authorities this week placed Diack under formal investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering. The 82-year-old Senegalese is alleged to have received bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes, the office of France’s financial prosecutor said.

One of Diack’s sons and three other sports officials, two of whom held positions at the IAAF, have also been charged with ethical violations by the governing body.

“That they were not able to cover up the doping results is testament to the system that the IAAF and Wada [the World Anti-Doping Agency] have jointly put in place,” said Coe.

He promised stronger action by the IAAF during his administration. “Where there are fragilities in the system that may have allowed extortion, no matter how unsuccessful, we will strengthen them,” said Coe.

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“And the independent integrity unit which I will establish next month will include an independent tribunal to hear all integrity-related violations committed by international level athletes and their support personnel. We will take the hearing process out of the hands of individual member federations.“

Coe also struck back at critics who claimed the IAAF had not done enough to control doping. “Every doping case currently being investigated by Wada was first identified by the IAAF through its athlete biological passport programme,” he said.

A Wada independent commission is scheduled to announce on Monday its findings following a lengthy investigation into allegations of doping in Russia. The report is expected to be critical of Russian sports officials and the IAAF. “We are not complacent,” Coe said. “Every athlete found in violation has been charged and sanctioned.”

The Englishman, who has been criticised for not speaking out earlier after the French investigation of Diack became public, said the governing body has sought tougher penalties than those brought by the Russian officials.

“The IAAF believes the period of disqualification of results was too leniently applied by the Russian Federation and has been seeking an extension of these disqualifications through the Court of Arbitration for Sport in fairness of clean athletes. The cases are currently pending,” he added.

Coe said the IAAF had tested more than 5,000 athletes since 2009, proof the organisation was serious about making the sport clean.

“The best way to cover up an anti-doping case is not to test athletes at all,” he explained. “We will continue to lead the fight against drugs in sport on behalf of all clean athletes. Those that cheat will be caught. Those that are caught will be thoroughly investigated and the guilty will face the fullest sanctions available.”

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