IAAF’s Nick Davies banned after cash payment cover-up

Athletics body’s former chief of staff admits taking payments to cover up Russian doping

Nick Davies, former chief of staff to IAAF president Sebastian Coe, has been expelled from athletics' governing body after he admitted taking payments to help cover up Russian doping and then misleading the ethics investigation into the issue.

Despite his admission of receiving €30,000 in illicit payments and denying it until exposed by his bank statements, he is free to continue working in athletics after an ethics committee report released on Tuesday said he had not acted corruptly.

His wife, IAAF education official Jane Boulter-Davies, was given a six-month suspension for her role in the matter as she also misled the investigation but, having already served a provisional suspension since June 2016, is free to return to work.

IAAF medical manager Pierre-Yves Garnier, who was provisionally suspended as well, can also return to his post having been given a three-month ban for receiving undisclosed cash payments.


Nick Davies admitted to receiving thousands of pounds from Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who has been banned from athletics for life by the ethics board.

Davies stepped down as IAAF deputy general secretary in December 2015 after leaked emails showed he had discussed a secret plan to delay naming Russian athletes who had failed drugs tests until after the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

A 61-page report on the case released by the ethics committee said Davies was given a payment of €25,000 for “press lobbying”.

He initially denied receiving the money but later changed his story, admitting that he had kept most of it, but still denied receiving the money corruptly. He also received a further €5,000 in cash from Lamine Diack, and concealed receiving it, the report said.

False statement

The conclusion of the ethics committee enquiry said: “Mr Davies has admitted misleading the investigation. It is all the more serious for the fact that Mr Davies only admitted his lie when his hand was forced upon requests being made of him for his bank statements, which would inevitably identify that the €30,000 had in fact been received by him at the relevant time, thereby revealing his lie.”

Davies also pleaded guilty to acting in a manner likely to bring athletics into disrepute and failing to act with integrity and honesty.

“I wish to admit that my false statement to you is a breach of the ethics code,” Davies wrote in an email to the committee.

“I intentionally misled an IAAF Ethics Board Investigator and while in due course I would wish to advance an explanation/mitigation I can already emphasise that I did so in panic at being drawn into matters of such seriousness, when I had not been a party to the cover up of the doping tests or any other intentional wrong doing.”

Despite this, the Ethics Committee concluded that he had not “acted in any way corruptly.”

Davies, who he has agreed to pay the sums back to the IAAF, expressed “deep remorse” for his actions, was expelled with immediate effect and ordered to pay €5,000 costs, but will be allowed to work again within the sport of athletics.