Leaked IAAF letter from 2009 implicates the governing body – to the IAAF: do the right thing

January 13, 2016 7

© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics Illustrated

There is new damning evidence suggesting that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of the sport of athletics is as guilty as the All-Russian Athletics Federation in hiding widespread or systematic Russian doping in a leaked, IAAF letter from 2009.

Therefore, unlike what the IAAF are currently claiming, there does appear to be evidence of long-standing and or widespread corruption in the head office.

The IAAF has some work to do to rectify the order of medals from past IAAF World Track and Field Championships and Olympic Games. For starters, the IAAF needs to re-order all medals from the 2009 Berlin world championships, in events where the Russians achieved medals.

The Associated Press have a copy of a letter written to permanently banned Valentin Balaknichev, former president of the ARAF, dated October 14, 2009. The image of the letter is damning evidence. It was signed by IAAF General Secretary Pierre Wiess.

As some medals have been re-awarded ad-hoc from various games already and bans have been put into place, which include the removal to certain points in history of performances, re-writing the Berlin championships is doing the right thing.

In the letter, Wiess wrote:

“Unfortunately, I do not have good news regarding the blood parameter levels of the Russian athletes in Berlin. Again they were extremely high, and again much more so than any other country competing. Again there were several of the usual suspects who produced these findings. Of the top ten highest blood values recorded in Berlin, 8 of them came from Russian athletes and many more than just these 8 were also very suspicious.”

Wiess went on to voice concern, not just for the cheating, but the health risks, as the blood values were so high.

“…These results are startling because not only are these athletes cheating their fellow competitors but at these levels are putting their health and even their own lives in very serious danger.”

The IAAF is complicit in hiding these results now up to six years , according to this letter and thus the responsibility rests with the worldwide governing body to undo past wrongs.

January 20, 2015 Valeriy Borchin who is a 20K Racewalker was disqualified for eight years starting from October 15, 2012 and all of his results between July 14, 2009 and September 15, 2009, between June 16, 2011 and September 27,  2011 as well as between April 11, 2012 and September 3, 2012 (which include two world championship golds) were annulled.

On March 25, 2015, the IAAF filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration in Lausanne, Switzerland, questioning the selective disqualification of the suspension periods of six athletes involved including Borchin.

This is truly a WTF? moment, when the IAAF General Secretary writes to the ARAF President a long letter implicating Russian athletes, then the IAAF files an appeal upon a proven Russian drug cheat’s suspension.

The IAAF is as guilty as Russia.

For the athletes below that apparently have not tested positive, they still very likely did and the athletes were not suspended, in fact the high blood values were hidden by both Wiess and Balaknichev.

20K Racewalk – Men
Valeriy Borchin                 RUS – Tested positive – results annulled
Hao Wang                           CHN
Edgar Sanchez                   MEX
Giorgio Robino                  ITA

20K Racewalk – Women
Olga KANISKINA                RUS – Tested positive – suspended three years and two months
Olive LOUGHNANE          IRL
Hong LIU                               CHN
Anisya KIRDYAPKINA     RUS – Husband Sergey tested positive – suspended three years and two months
Vera SANTOS                     POR

Hammer Throw – Men
Primož KOZMUS               SLO
Szymon ZIÓLKOWSKI     POL
Aleksey ZAGORNYI         RUS
Krisztián PARS                   HUN

Triple Jump – Women
Yargeris SAVIGNE            CUB
Mabel GAY                         CUB
Anna PYATYKH                 RUS
Biljana TOPIC                     SRB

3000msc Men
Yuliya ZARIPOVA             RUS – Tested positive – suspended two years and six months
Milcah Chemos CHE        KEN
Gulnara GALKINA            RUS
Jennifer SIMPSON           USA
Habiba GHRIBI                   TUN

Javelin Throw – Women
Steffi NERIUS                     GER
Barbora ŠPOTÁKOVÁ     CZE
Maria ABAKUMOVA       RUS
Monica STOIAN                                ROU

400m –Women
Sanya RICHARDS-ROSS  USA
Shericka WILLIAMS         JAM
Antonina KRIVOSHAPKA  RUS
Novlene WILLIAMS-MILLS JAM

High Jump – Women
Blanka VLAŠIC                      CRO
Anna CHICHEROVA            RUS
Ariane FRIEDRICH               GER
Antonietta DI MARTINO                  ITA

50K Racewalk – Men
Sergey KIRDYAPKIN          RUS – Tested positive – suspended three years and two months
Trond NYMARK                   NOR
Jesús Ángel GARCÍA         ESP
Grzegorz SUDOL                 POL

High Jump – Men
Yaroslav RYBAKOV           RUS
Kyriakos IOANNOU          CYP
Sylwester BEDNAREK      POL
Raul SPANK                         GER

Long Jump – women
Brittney REESE                   USA
Tatyana LEBEDEVA          RUS
Karin MEY MELIS              TUR
Naide GOMES                   POR

4 x 400m – Men
UNITED STATES                 USA
JAMAICA                             JAM
RUSSIA                                 RUS
GREAT BRITAIN & N.I.    GB

POS        COUNTRY                                            TOTAL

1              USA USA              10           6              6              22

2              JAM JAM             7              4              2              13

3              KEN KEN              4              5              2              11

4              RUS RUS              4              3              6              13

5              POL POL               2              4              2              8

6              GER GER              2              3              4              9

7              ETH ETH                2              2              4              8

8              GBR GBR              2              2              2              6

9              RSA RSA               2              1              0              3

10           AUS AUS              2              0              2              4

7 Comments »

  1. Mizner January 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm -

    I don’t see how the letter is read wrong in this article, but I do see where Kelsall skipped over the business about the IAAF doing anything about the extreme blood values at that time.

    If I was a writer with his skill, I would have said something about why in the f*ck are you writing letters repeatedly to this president, with the word, “again” in it three times in one paragraph?

    Move on and work to investigate or the Russians and Kelsall is right about the time to. 6 f*cking years?

    • JTL77 January 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm -

      I read it as: “Hey Russia your athletes are clearly doping. We can’t actually do anything about it right now, but our new program is going to catch them. Fix it.”

      • Mizner January 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm -

        Ok. I see your point. But it was still six years ago. That gave them all that time to continue to dope and bring the sport into disrespute. And still the letter now hasn’t been acted upon, it was leaked. This is I think why he said complicit.

        • Bob1 January 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm -

          Like being an accessory to a crime?

          Not that I agree with this but the IAAF probably wanted to avoid the shitstorm that this letter and probably other letters and doalogue would cause. I read somewhere that 5000 blood samples records were kept and many were suspicious to extreme.

          So this letter as a smoking gun is like the leaked blood value document that COe was freaking out about…I have a feeling that Russia is not the only one at this rate of doping. Think of all of those Eastern European countries. Belarus, Romania, Czech Republic and people are talking about Kenya now. Oh boy.

  2. Christopher Kelsall January 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm -

    Thanks, John.

    Complicit may or may not be the correct term. As you know it means being involved in the crime. The IAAF were not complicit by strict definition; however, they knew about this as far back as 2009.

    I am sure they were able to go to WADA or the IOC and made the public aware, which could help put into motion corrective action.

    Then they appealed the decision to suspend six of the Russian athletes. They appealed knowing full well that they had extreme blood values issues.

    Why would they do that?

    Cheers,

    C

    • JTL77 January 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm -

      I agree this is messed up and the IAAF is in the wrong. I just don’t know that this letter is as much a smoking gun of outright partnership in hiding doping violations as it is an indictment of the process.

  3. JTL77 January 13, 2016 at 10:58 am -

    I’m not sure you are reading the letter correctly, Chris. Weiss states in the letter that the current rules do not allow the IAAF to sanction the Russians mentioned. So while they clearly knew, they had no recourse to do anything. What this letter is, is the IAAF telling the Russians they need to do something as the country itself is the one responsible for that. The letter is problematic for sure as it should not have taken 6 years to actually, legally and officially, catch these athletes if they knew all this. However, the unfortunate reality of sports bureaucracy is that rules must be followed. So in following their own rules, the IAAF let the Russian’s slip through. I absolutely agree that based on what we know now, we need to go back and adjust results and reward the athletes we know are clean (or cynically, reward the athletes we don’t know were dirty). But this letter merely demonstrates that the IAAF was in a difficult position, not that it was complicit in any way.

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