Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Frank (‘Frankie’) Fredericks from the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), while it investigates whether a US$300,000 payment was intended to corrupt the vote to appoint the host of the 2016 Olympics. The payment was made by Papa Massata Diack (PMD), the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, who is currently wanted by Interpol due to charges of complicity in receiving bribes issued by the French police in connection to Operation Augeas, its investigation into corruption involving the IAAF.
Following the allegations, which were published by French newspaper Le Monde, Fredericks stepped down as Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the 2024 Olympics; and as a member of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. He also stepped down from the IAAF Task Force assessing whether the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has met the conditions required for re-admittance to international competition; and from his role as Honorary Chairman of the IAAF Athletes Commission.
However, as the The IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal decision (PDF below) below confirms, Fredericks refused to voluntarily step down from his role on the IAAF Council. The decision alleges that the $300,000 was paid by PMD’s company Pamodzi Sports Consulting to Fredericks’ company, Yemi Limited, for work carried out from 2007/11 relating to a 11 March 2007 contract concerning marketing and African athletics work. However, the payment was made on 2 October 2009, the date when the IOC awarded Rio de Janeiro the Host City Contract for the 2016 Olympics.
The decision found that Fredericks had not put any pressure on PMD to pay the $300,000 after the end of 2007. It therefore concluded that the case against Fredericks ‘concerns a very serious matter, namely the possibility that Mr Fredericks received substantial sums of money with the aim and/or effect of affecting his voting in the award of an Olympic host city […] It remains to be investigated why the Payment made by Pamodzi to Yemi was made on the date of the award to Rio de Janeiro of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.’