12 December 2014

IAAF staff step down as WADA & RUSADA pledge to investigate Russian doping claims

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed that two of its staff have temporarily stood down whilst its Ethics Commission investigates allegations made that they colluded in athlete doping. The IAAF confirmed that Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), has ‘voluntarily decided to cease exercising his duties as IAAF Treasurer and Council Member until the independent IAAF Ethics Commission’s on-going investigation has concluded’.

The resignations follow two German documentaries and a TV programme, which aired last week. The first part of ‘Geheimsache Doping – Wie Russland seine Sieger machete’ aired on 3 December, alleged systematic doping in Russian sport. Part two of the documentary, which aired on 7 December, alleged doping involving athletes outside of Russia. A TV programme in connection with the documentaries, which aired on WDR on Monday night, showed a list of 150 athletes containing blood anomalies, which it accused the IAAF of failing to follow up.

The IAAF is also investigating an article in the Guardian which alleged that Papa Massata Diack, son of IAAF President Lamine Diack, had made monetary demands in connection to Doha’s bid to host the IAAF World Championships 2017. Diack has written to the IAAF confirming that he will suspend his activities on behalf of the IAAF until its Ethics Commission delivers its final report.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said that it would launch its own investigation on 10 December. The full details of the inquiry will be announced once the composition of the investigating commission has been confirmed, and the terms of reference are completed. WADA’s announcement was welcomed by UK Anti-Doping, after the Daily Telegraph claimed to have received evidence from the documentary makers that UK athletes featured on the list of blood anomalies in the WDR programme. The IAAF has already denied the documentary’s claims that it failed to follow up on the blood anomalies featuring in the documentary.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) also announced its own investigation into the allegations. It said that it would publish the results on its internet site.

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