Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

International Track & Field Agency Blamed for Known Doping

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last week released the second half of a report on corruption among track and field athletes and agencies, and it did not limit its criticism to a single country. Instead, the report centers on the corruption of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which allegedly allowed athletes with dirty blood tests to continue competing.

Did the institutions fail intentionally? The new report indicates that they did, reports National Public Radio and that state and international agencies were involved in a corruption conspiracy.

Enabling the Conspiracy

The latest release of the report says that former president of the IAAF Lamine Diack "was responsible for organizing and enabling the conspiracy and corruption." It states that athletes who had been known dopers were even allowed to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games while the former president of the international track and field organization was aware of the fact that athletes were hiding abnormal blood tests.

"He sanctioned and appears to have had personal knowledge of the fraud and the extortion of athletes carried out by the actions of the informal illegitimate governance structure he put in place," the report says. But the illegal activity allegedly went beyond Diack. "The corruption was embedded in the organization. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on its own," the report said.

Moving On

The first half of the WADA report - released late last year -- led to lifetime bans on a few highly placed people in Russia's athletic federation. At the time, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he thought the IAAF was using these actions to distract from greater issues. But having seen the second half of the report, Mutko told reporters that he now understood Russia's part in the international doping scandal.

Meanwhile, Dick Pound, a former WADA president said that Sebastian Coe of Britain is the right person to lead the organization forward now, according to the Associated Press. "There's [an] enormous amount of reputational recovery that has to occur here and I can't ... think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that. All our fingers are crossed in that respect."

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