track and field
report: iaaf poisoned by rogue group
MUNICH — Track and field's governing body was corrupted from the inside by a "powerful rogue group" led by its former president, and the group conspired to extort athletes and allow doping Russians to continue competing, World Anti-Doping Agency investigators reported Thursday.
Other leaders of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were at fault, too, the investigators' report said. They must have known of the nepotism that allowed Lamine Diack to turn the IAAF into a personal fiefdom during his 16-year reign as president, it said.
"It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged," said the report, written by former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound and presented by him at a news conference.
A key question raised by the report is whether alleged corruption under Diack infected other areas of IAAF business. The investigators called for a detailed followup investigation of all world championships awarded by the ruling body for 2009-19 due to evidence they found of possible wrongdoing.
The report made further uncomfortable reading for Sebastian Coe, the Olympic champion British middle-distance runner who took over from Diack in August. Coe was in the audience as Pound sifted through the grim findings and asserted that the IAAF remains an organization in denial.
Coe is not accused of wrongdoing. But as an IAAF vice president under Diack, he was part of its oversight body, the Council, which took a hammering in the report. The Council "could not have been unaware of the extent of doping" and the breaking of anti-doping rules, and "could not have been unaware of the level of nepotism" under Diack, it said.
But Pound said he believes Coe had "not the faintest idea of the extent" of Diack's alleged corruption when he took power.
Coe said changing IAAF's "cultural embedment" will take time but "we can make the changes."
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