The Ethics Board for the International Association of Athletics Federation, (IAAF) produced a statement on 10th June 2016 that Michael Beloff QC, in consultation with other board members, provisionally suspended three members of staff. In response to the suspension, the IAAF itself issued a statement on their Website, which states that their priority is to get to the truth of allegations that ‘have been made against the sport,” with regard to doping-related issues.

The three people involved.

The three members named by the Ethics Board are Nick Davies, Jane Boulter-Davies, and Pierre-Yves Garnier. According to the statement by the Board, the suspensions have been initiated in order to allow further investigations into allegations of breaches of integrity. They do, however, make it very clear that the suspensions in no way are to prejudice any investigations.

Presumption of innocence.

The suspensions will start with immediate effect and will run for 180 days.

The IAAF press release mentions that the facts of the allegations were made public in December 2015. They do not wish to compromise any investigationand state that they do not intend to make any further comments.

Origin of the case.

The Ethics Board sat to consider the case which first arose through an email that was reported to have been sent to Mr. Lamine Diack on 29 July 2013. Lamine Diack was an IAAF President. The email was sent by Mr. Papa Massata Diack an IAAF consultant.

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It was reported by Le Monde Newspaper that Valentin Balakhnichev, had “become internally involved with the IAAF staff who had been antagonistic towards him...since September 2012.” They further wrote that “lobbying activities were carried out.” The report mentioned allegations that “Papa Massata Diack gave money to various people to keep them quiet.”

Balakhnichev.

Balakhnichev started serving as the All-Russia Athletic Federation president in 1991.

He was at one time the IAAF treasurer but resigned following allegations via ARD, a German broadcaster, about a doping scandal and cover-up in Russia.

Prima facie cases.

The serious allegations meant that the Ethics Board had no option but to follow-up and ascertain the grounds for the newspaper report. In their statement, which the Ethic Board has published as a public document available as a download, it presents the prima facie cases.

  • In respect to Mr. Davies, is an allegation that he was given “an undisclosed cash payment.” The investigation will look into the allegation to see if it was intended as a “manipulative” payment. He will also be investigated for allegedly misleading the IAAF investigator in relation to this payment.
  • Ms. Boulter-Davies summary of prima facie, says very much the same as above but refers to whether she concealed knowledge of the payment and the email. Once again, the second case to answer for surrounds the issue of misleading an investigator.
  • The third person to be suspended while further investigations are underway is Mr. Garnier. The prima facie case for him involves the alleged receipt of an "undisclosed amount of cash” and also revolves around whether there may have been a manipulative reason for it.

The investigation.

Sir Anthony Hooper who has been appointed by the Board, will conduct the investigation into the cases.

The Ethics Board statement reiterates several times, that the above-mentioned people are to be presumed innocent, and they go on to state that each of them is entitled to appeal their suspension “under the IAAF rules.”Whilst there are no other employees at the IAAF who will be investigated, they will look into the “alleged payors and payees referred to in the 29 July 2013 email,” It is expected that Sir Anthony will be well qualified to carry out the investigation as he has previously been a Judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

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