Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Anti-Doping Switzerland has suspended its relationship with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), indicating that it no longer considers it a reliable partner in the fight against doping. ‘Due to disquieting developments in the past few weeks and months, Antidoping Switzerland has decided for immediate discontinuation of contact as well as suspension of collaborational work with the IAAF’, read a 30 December statement. ‘Whenever the IAAF can be reclassified as being a reliable partner in the fight against doping, Antidoping Switzerland will reestablish contact correspondingly’.
As far as Anti-Doping Switzerland is concerned, it appears that the straw which broke the camel’s back was recent revelations in Le Monde. The newspaper alleges that the IAAF had arranged to postpone the announcement of Russian doping positives until after the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships, and that the IAAF had agreed a deal for the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) to provide financial support in connection to a Senegalese election campaign. Nick Davies resigned as Director of the IAAF President’s Office on 23 December, after a newspaper published emails in which he suggests delaying the announcement of Russian doping positives until after the Moscow 2013 World Championships.
In the article, former IAAF President, Senegalese Lamine Diack, confesses to delaying Russian doping positives indicated by abnormalities in Athlete Biological Passports (ABPs) until after the 2013 Moscow World Championships, to avoid upsetting IAAF an sponsorship contract with bank VTB and a TV contract with Russian station RTR. “We had to postpone the suspension of Russians suspected of doping until after the World Championships in 2013”, Diack told Le Monde. “If there had been no TV rights, marketing rights and athletes had been suspended, it would have been a disaster. In other words, we needed to delay the announcement of the suspensions of the Russians in the interest of both federations.”
The article also alleges that Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, came to a 2011 arrangement for former Russian athletics federation (ARAF) President and IAAF Treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev to provide financial support for a 2012 Senegalese election campaign. “There was no written agreement between us”, Le Monde reports Lamine Diack as saying. “When I requested assistance from Balakhnichev, I told him that to win the elections, I would need about €1.5 million. He said ‘we will try to find it. No problem’”. When contacted by Le Monde, Balakhnichev denied the allegations.
Anti-Doping Switzerland said that the suspension of its relationship with the IAAF will ‘directly affect the data exchange of Athlete Biological Passports that will no longer be conducted’. It also said that apart from this, the suspension of its relationship would not affect doping controls, or its relationship with Swiss Athletics.
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