Wada report says Seb Coe must have been aware of doping

Pound: ‘I don’t want to lay the failures of an entire council at the feet of one individual’

A Wada reports has said Seb Coe must have been aware of the scale of doping in athletics. Photograph: Reuters

A Wada reports has said Seb Coe must have been aware of the scale of doping in athletics. Photograph: Reuters

 

Sebastian Coe is facing renewed pressure on his position as IAAF president after a new report ruled that the IAAF Council and his right-hand man Nick Davies must have been aware of the scale of doping in athletics.

The second report compiled by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) into the Russian doping scandal said the IAAF Council – which included Coe at the time – “could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics”.

It adds that Davies, who stepped aside from his position as IAAF chief of staff last month, was “well aware of Russian ‘skeletons’ in the cupboard”.

The report, announced at a news conference in Munich, states: “The IAAF Council could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules.

“There was an evident lack of political appetite within the IAAF to confront Russia with the full extent of its known and suspected doping activities.”

The report, presented in Munich by commission chairman Dick Pound, said it was too easy just to blame the failures on Coe’s predecessor Lamine Diack, who along with his son Papa Massata Diack and other officials is under investigation by French police for taking money to cover up doping by athletes.

It adds: “Failure to have addressed such governance issues is an IAAF failure that cannot be blamed on a small group on miscreants. The opportunity existed for the IAAF to have addressed governance issues. No advantage was taken of that opportunity.”

Coe was present in person at Pound’s news conference in Munich, having insisted on Wednesday there had been no cover-up, and had no intention of standing down.

Second Captains

In terms of Davies, the report states he did not mention any knowledge of the delays in reporting doping violations when he was interviewed by the commission in June. A subsequent leaked email from him to Papa Massata Diack showed Davies discussing a plan to delay the announcement of positive tests by Russian athletes.

Commission member Richard McClaren said at a press conference in Munich: “The information the independent commission has very clearly indicates that the disruption of the federation emanated from the very top – the president Lamine Diack.

“He inserted his personal legal advisor Habib Cisse into the IAAF medical and anti-doping department in November of 2011 with the London 2012 and the Moscow 2013 World Championships coming up. He did so to enable Cisse to manage and follow up Russian athlete biological passport (ABP) cases.

“The Russian coaches around this time did not have a good understanding of the ABP process. They had mastered the evasion, manipulation and sometimes destruction of urine samples of Russian athletes so as to not produce positive results, but they had not yet learned how to do the same for the ABP.

“The deliberate insertion by the president of Cisse and his actions were intended to achieve the same results of manipulation and delay with the ABP cases involving the Russians the same result as had been achieved with the urine samples.”

The independent commission’s (IC) report did clear the IAAF over its handling of suspicious blood tests, and effectively cleared Paula Radcliffe of any suspicion after she was identified as having provided one of the hundreds of samples involved.

It adds: “Follow-up activities in the face of suspicious values have generally been thorough and reasonable in the circumstances.

“The IC does not endorse suggestions that the IAAF has not been sufficiently active in relation to EPO testing from the outset of a reliable test for EPO. While nothing is perfect, the IAAF has been extremely active in this aspect of the fight against doping in sport.”

Pound said the IAAF Council must also have been aware of the nepotism operated by Diack, but gave his full backing to Coe remaining as IAAF president.

Pound told the news conference: “This is a fabulous opportunity for the IAAF to seize this opportunity and under strong leadership move forward from this, but there is an enormous amount of work to do.

“I can’t think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that.”

McClaren also revealed Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova was unlikely to have been the only athlete blackmailed by IAAF officials.

The revelation that she paid a bribe to avoid a doping ban led this month to life bans being imposed on Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev, former Russian athletic federation (Araf) president and IAAF treasurer Alexei Melnikov, a senior Araf coach.

“We maybe only have examined the tip of the iceberg with respect to athletes who have been extorted,” McClaren said.

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