Amidst the controversies related to the stand of IAAF President Sebastien Coe in the corruption case involving Russian Marathon runner Liliya Shoubukhova, the IAAF Taskforce led by Rune Andersen has ruled against reinstatement of RusAF as a member, a decision conveyed before the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council at a meeting held today at Vienna. The Taskforce cited several important Verification Criteria which have not been met, for their decision against the Russian Federation.
BBC and Daily Mail have already published reports on the controversy accusing IAAF President Sebastian Coe of being party to the charges of corruption. He is accused of being fully aware of the bribe payments made by Russian marathon runner Liliya Shoubukhova as a cover up to hide reports of her being positive for performance enhancing drugs. He knew about these allegation 4 months before they became public. Secondly he is accused of being close to close to the one of the accused official and used him in his bid to win the presidential elections.
The IAAF soon came up with a press release refuting the allegations put by BBC and Daily Mail.
In the first allegation the tabloids have reported that Coe was well aware of the corruption charge as he was forwarded mails in the August of 2014 by the athletes agent highlighting about the how her client was being pressured into making these payments which have aggregated somewhere in the tune of £435,000.
IAAF acknowledges that Coe did receive the mails but he never read it, He simply forwarded it them to the Ethics Commission, an independent Quasi-judicial body independent of IAAF set up for probe.
For people who would doubt how can he possibly have not read this, he has defended this “lack of curiosity” as a show of full duty of care. By taking such an action he has ensured that “the right people in the right place were aware of allegations and were investigating them”. He was aware of the rumors doing rounds but was never sure as nothing concrete could be said as the matter was under probe and he had in fact refuted of having any knowledge of corruption within IAAF before British Parliamentary Select Committee last year.
The second allegation against him is of being close to Papa Massata Diack, a person central in the corruption scandal. BBC and Daily Mail have reported that he infact used Diack services to win the IAAF Presidential elections of 2015. The allegations are he used the clout of Diank and his father to win over the African contingent to beat his rival Ukrainian’s Sergey Bubka. The allegations are a case of quid-pro-quo, where he did not disclose Diank and gained from his service to win elections. Further Coe reference to Papa Diank’s father, Lamine Diack as the “spiritual President” of the sport and thanking him for his many personal kindnesses both in public and private in his thank you speech after winning the elections have only added to the reported tie-up.
Coe has refuted this was well saying that Papa Dianck was like one of the many individuals who had their advice to offer him, even when they are of unwanted kinds yet he acknowledged it to be civil. Diank was blowing hot and cold at the same time, he was offering Coe support at one time and at the other he was accusing Coe of running a media trial against him and his father.
The allegations at the face of it don’t seem conclusive enough but they will sure raise some eyebrows and Coe will again be out under shadow however much he tries to break away from it.