Another day, another damaging day for athletics. Plus ça change at the IAAF.
The findings of an 18-month IAAF ethics commission hearing into one specific facet of doping and corruption amid the whole sorry ongoing mess was a mere snapshot of what is to come later this month.
The case of the marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova and the extortion of money by those at the very head and heart of the IAAF are yet again another tip of a seemingly ever-growing iceberg, first alluded to by Dick Pound in publishing the first World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report into Russian doping in November. Part two, looking at corruption within the IAAF but also the leaked blood database, is due to be unveiled in all its gory detail in Munich next Thursday.
Pound has warned that it will be more explosive than the first, an ominous caution bearing in mind his last publication led to all Russian athletes being banned from global competition and complete upheaval in Russian sport and doping, as well as at the IAAF, creaking from one scandal to the next in the first five months of Sebastian Coe’s presidency.
Pound, the founding president of Wada, has been tight-lipped on what lies in wait next week but promised: “When we release this information to the world there will be a wow factor.” Quite what the ramifications of the “wow factor” are remain to be seen as a sport under global scrutiny goes through the wringer again.
Alongside it all is the ongoing French investigation into Coe’s predecessor Lamine Diack, his legal advisor Habib Cissé, the former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dollé and Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack, the latter two having both received bans from athletics in the IAAF ethics commission’s findings.
Quite when that criminal investigation reaches its conclusion is unclear, the complexities of the case meaning it may not even reach fruition this month as was previously anticipated.
The IAAF ethics commission, independent from the IAAF, has given a small insight into the cover-up of doping cases.
At 2pm on Thursday things will get infinitely worse.
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