Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Seven Arne Hansen, President of European Athletics, has called for Frankie Fredericks to step aside from his position as a Council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), until French judicial authorities conclude their investigation into him. ‘In my personal opinion, any individual who finds themselves under such suspicion now or in the future should step aside from all their sport-related duties until the issue is resolved as it is not good for the organisation they serve’, said Hansen in a statement. ‘I want to emphasise that in the current case we are dealing with allegations and must always presume innocence until they are proven. However, should the allegations turn out to be true, they would reveal an extremely disappointing betrayal of athletics and its values, which would damage the sport’s image in the eyes of its supporters and the public.’
Earlier this month, French newspaper Le Monde alleged that a Brazilian businessman gave Papa Massata Diack – son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack – US$2 million three days before Rio won the right to host the 2016 Olympics at a vote held in Copenhagen in 2009. The newspaper alleges that French investigators suspect that the money was used to influence the vote. The newspaper also alleged that some of the money was transferred to a company owned by International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Fredericks (pictured, left), who stood down from his role as Chair of the Evaluation Committee for the 2024 Olympics.
In an exclusive interview with The Sports Integrity Initiative, Papa Massata Diack dismissed the allegations as “totally untrue”. He was also critical that aspects of the French criminal investigation continually appear in the media. “There have been a number of media leaks by French investigators and their partners – namely WADA and the IAAF”, he alleged. “They are using the same newspapers and the same journalists. They have been trying to frustrate and influence the decision at CAS. This includes Tokyo, my role in Germany, Stuttgart and is designed to paint me in a bad light, so that CAS doesn’t cancel the decision of the Ethics Board.”
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