Corrupt track officials must have known about widespread Russian doping, report alleges

Lamine Diack

Former IAAF President Lamine Diack, shown in February, is now under investigation on corruption and money-laundering charges.

(AFP / Getty Images)

The second half of a much-heralded investigative report has alleged that former international track leaders were corrupt and must have been aware of unchecked doping in Russia.

The 89-page document, prepared by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel, also states that an International Assn. of Athletics Federations official may have spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin about extensive cheating in his country.

“It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged,” the report stated, adding: “If, therefore, the circle of knowledge was so extensive, why was nothing done?”

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This installment of WADA’s wide-ranging probe follows the release of a report late last year that included evidence of systemic Russian doping.

This time, much of the blame pointed at Lamine Diack, the former IAAF president who is now under investigation on corruption and money-laundering charges. Several key subordinates -- including his son -- were implicated.

“The corruption was embedded in the organization,” the WADA report stated. “It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on its own.”

Investigators noted that a potentially troublesome relationship between Diack and Putin might have affected the handling of doping cases against Russian athletes.

An IAAF leadership council -- which included Sebastian Coe, the federation’s current president -- was criticized for failing to take action while all of this was going on.

“I recognize that the IAAF still has an enormous task ahead of it to restore public confidence,” Coe said. “We cannot change the past, but I am determined that we will learn from it and will not repeat its mistakes.”

Former WADA leader Richard Pound, who headed the investigative panel, supported Coe staying in office.

“As far as the ability of Lord Coe to remain as head of the IAAF, I think it’s a fabulous opportunity for the IAAF to seize this opportunity and under strong leadership to move forward,” he said at a news conference.

All Russian track athletes have been banned from international competition pending an overhaul of their country’s track federation and anti-doping authority.

Russia hopes to complete the required changes in time for its athletes to be reinstated for the 2016 Summer Olympics.


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