World athletics braces for doping scandal | News | DW | 08.11.2015
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World athletics braces for doping scandal

The head of world athletics has said the sport faces a long road to rebuild trust. A report will be released Monday - investigating bribery, extortion and a doping cover-up in track and field.

Ahead of what could be a damning report into corruption and doping in world athletics, the head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said Sunday that the sport would have to reform and rebuild trust.

"I'm angry about the position our sport is in today. I'm shocked, I'm angered and dismayed. These are dark days," IAAF president Sebastian Coe told AP. "We shouldn't kid ourselves," he added. "It's going to be a long way back to rebuilding trust."

The comments come as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is set to release a report into widespread bribery, extortion and doping cover-ups that will hit track and field, especially in Russia.

The report was triggered by a documentary on German broadcaster ARD last December, which alleged widespread doping in athletics and some other summer and winter Olympic sports. The documentary hit Russia particularly hard, implicating Russian sports and anti-doping officials of bribery, covering up positive doping tests, falsifying tests and supplying banned drugs.

The Moscow lab implicated in the cover-up did testing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and is slated to do anti-doping when Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup. Moscow hosted the track and field world championships in 2013.


Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer who is on the three member inquiry team, said the report will be "a real game-changer for sport."

"This is a whole different scale of corruption than the FIFA scandal or the IOC scandal in respect to Salt Lake City," McLaren said in comments published by Western University in Canada, where he teaches law.

McLaren said that the corruption is more significant than the scandal that hit FIFA because match fixing in football didn't actually impact the World Cup results.

"Unlike FIFA where you have a bunch of old men who put a whole lot of extra money in their pockets, here you potentially have a bunch of old men who put a whole lot of extra money in their pockets - through extortion and bribes - but also caused significant changes to actual results and final standings of international athletics competitions," McLaren said.

All the way to the top

The report's release will come nearly a week since the former long-time head of IAAF, Lamine Diack, and two other IAAF officials were placed under criminal investigation in France for corruption related to Russian doping. The 82 year-old Senegalese left the IAAF in August after 16 years at the helm.

cw/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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