The Latest: Diack resigns as head of athletics foundation
LONDON (AP) The Latest from the IAAF investigation (all time local):
Lamine Diack has resigned as president of the International Athletics Foundation, the charitable arm of the IAAF.
The IAAF received a letter of resignation from Diack, who became president of the foundation after the death of its founder, Primo Nebiolo, in November 1999.
The Monaco-based foundation organizes and sponsors courses, conferences, and exhibitions, plus the World Athletics Gala, which names the athletes of the year, but which was canceled four days ago after French prosecutors announced they were investigating former IAAF head Diack on corruption charges.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says the head of the country’s anti-doping laboratory has resigned, hours after it was stripped of its right to test samples.
A World Anti-Doping Agency commission demanded a life ban Monday for lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, who was accused of covering up positive doping tests, extorting money from athletes and destroying 1,417 samples before inspectors visited.
Mutko tells Russia’s Tass news agency that Rodchenkov ”took the decision to resign to take all the negatives away with him” as the lab begins a reform process.
WADA suspended the lab’s accreditation Tuesday and says samples there will be transported ”securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody” to an alternative WADA-accredited lab.
The IOC has provisionally suspended Lamine Diack as an honorary member after the former IAAF president was placed under investigation in France on corruption charges.
The IOC executive board has also asked track and field’s governing body to open disciplinary cases against Russian athletes, coaches and officials accused in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s report on widespread doping in the country.
The IOC says it would be ready to strip medals from any Russian athletes found guilty by the IAAF of doping violations.
The IOC board, acting on the recommendation of its ethics commission, approved Diack’s provisional suspension.
Diack served as a full IOC member for 15 years until 2014, when he became an honorary member. He stepped down in August as president of the IAAF.
Diack was detained last week and charged by French authorities with corruption and money laundering linked to the cover-up of Russian doping cases.
The head of FIFA’s anti-doping program say problems for Moscow’s testing laboratory should not affect the 2018 World Cup.
The lab was shut down by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday and faces a long process to regain accreditation.
Michel D’Hooghe, the FIFA medical committee chairman, tells The Associated Press ”I don’t see what is the problem for FIFA.”
D’Hooghe says WADA-accredited labs in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Cologne, Germany, are ”perhaps two of the best” if FIFA needs an alternative to test players’ samples.
FIFA used Lausanne to test samples from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after WADA stopped the Rio de Janeiro lab from working.
D’Hooghe says FIFA paid $250,000 in extra transport costs.
The longtime FIFA executive committee member says ”my problem is always a simple matter of costs.”
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen says the sport is going through ”a dark and sad time” and urged the IAAF to make changes.
Speaking after a meeting in Frankfurt, Hansen says ”what we are learning from various sources and what is likely to emerge in the future is extremely disappointing and against all the values and ideals we hold.”
Athletics has been profoundly shaken by the corruption probe of former IAAF president Lamine Diack and massive doping charges against Russia.
Hansen says the sport needs ”a complete review” of the governance of the IAAF to eliminate future possibilities for corruption, and ”support for anti-doping systems at the national level with the aim of strengthening the fight against doping.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Russian track and field leaders Wednesday, two days after a report accused the country of running a state-sponsored doping program.
The Kremlin says Putin will meet leaders of Russian sports federations in Sochi to discuss preparations for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Russian track federation, which is accused of doping athletes and covering up positive tests, says head coach Yuri Borzakovsky will attend the event.
Federation spokesperson Alla Glushchenko says the meeting had been planned before Monday’s report, but that ”if the issue of that is raised, then they’ll talk about it.”
The report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, recommended Russia’s suspension from track and field competitions, a move that would hurt the country’s chances of competing on the track at next year’s Olympics.
The head of the Russian anti-doping agency says allegations that Russian security services interfered in lab work are ”complete nonsense.”
RUSADA executive director Nikita Kamaev says the World Anti-Doping Agency’s allegation that agents of the FSB, Russia’s internal intelligence agency, carried out surveillance of anti-doping work, including during the Sochi Olympics, are the product of an ”inflamed imagination.”
Kamaev adds that the country’s drug-testing laboratory has shut down after being stripped of its WADA accreditation.
WADA removed the accreditation a day after its independent commission published a report alleging the laboratory’s tests were manipulated to hide doping tests and asked for a lifetime ban against lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, who is accused of extorting money from athletes.
Kamaev says ”the laboratory has ceased functioning, that’s true. The Russian agency has not,” insisting RUSADA remained in full compliance with WADA requirements.
FIFA says it is in ”close contact” with the World Anti-Doping Agency about the doping scandal in Russia, the country that will host the 2018 World Cup.
It could be a second straight World Cup where the host country cannot provide an accredited laboratory to test players’ samples.
The Moscow lab, which was criticized in a WADA inquiry, is due to perform testing but was stripped of its WADA accreditation on Tuesday. In 19 months, FIFA will run an anti-doping program for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
FIFA says ”the analysis of the samples, as always, will be done in a WADA-accredited laboratory.”
During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA flew samples to Lausanne, Switzerland, to be tested. WADA had shut down the Rio de Janeiro lab for failing to meet international working standards.
FIFA also notes that the WADA inquiry gave ”no indications that football would be involved” in the state-supported doping scandal.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the accreditation of Moscow’s drug-testing laboratory in the wake of a damning report on Russian doping.
WADA says it acted ”immediately” on the recommendation in the report by its independent commission to shut the Russian lab.
The suspension takes effect immediately and bars the Moscow lab from carrying out any testing of urine and blood samples.
Meanwhile, all samples for the Moscow lab will be transported ”securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody” to an alternative WADA-accredited lab.
The Moscow lab has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.
WADA says a disciplinary committee will be formed to review the case.
The former president of the Russian athletics federation says he will clear his name in court.
Valentin Balakhnichev, who headed the federation for more than 20 years until resigning in February following a string of doping cases, was accused in the report of involvement in a scheme to extort money from athletes accused of doping.
He tells Russia’s Tass news agency that he will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport because ”otherwise we won’t get to the bottom of this situation.”
Balakhnichev did not specify which particular points in the report he intended to dispute in court, but said he would defend ”both my personal interests and the interests of the country.”
The report did not include Balakhnichev on a list of Russian coaches and officials recommended to receive lifetime bans, although it said he was ”ultimately responsible” for wrongdoing during his time in charge of the federation.
The alleged extortion is also part of a French criminal investigation focused on former IAAF president Lamine Diack.
UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner says Russia should be banned from international competition and stripped of hosting the world junior championships next year in Kazan.
Warner wants the IAAF to suspend the Russians until they prove they can deal with cheating.
Warner says ”the worst thing would be for Russia … to host the juniors and we find out that nothing has changed.”
The head of the Russian track and field federation has asked for his athletes to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Acting federation president Vadim Zelichenok says ”we hope for prudence from the IAAF commission.”
The IAAF is expected to decide on a World Anti-Doping Agency commission recommendation to block Russian participation in track and field events, a move that would jeopardize their chances of competing at next year’s Olympics.
Zelichenok also said the accusations of state-sponsored doping are part of a conspiracy.
The report published by the WADA commission contains ”an element of material made to order,” Zelichenok said in comments reported by Russian media.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says the accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field appear unfounded.
Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday that whenever any charges are made, they must be based on some evidence.
He says ”as long as there is no evidence, it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded.”