IAAF board were aware of Russian doping

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Yesterday (14th January) saw the release of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s second report into the athletics doping scandal.

The first report, released in November, determined that “there existed a consistent disregard for ethical behaviour and a conspiracy to conduct and conceal corrupt behaviour by particular highly placed members and officials of IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] and the ARAF [All-Russia Athletics Federation].” 

The latest report reveals that corruption was entrenched in the IAAF and that the IAAF council must have been aware of the existence of doping, saying “It is not credible that elected officials were unaware of the situation affecting athletes in Russia.If, therefore the circle of knowledge was so extensive, why was nothing done? Quite obviously, there was no appetite on the part of the IAAF to challenge Russia.”

However, Richard Pound, who led the investigation, repeatedly defended IAAF President Sebastian Coe (formerly vice-president to the previous president Lamine Diack, who has been arrested on suspicion of corruption and money laundering), stating that he couldn’t “think of anybody better” to run the organisation, adding “My assessment of Lord Coe is that if he knew there was corruption going on he would have done something about it.” 

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