Athletics Kenya chief executive asks to stand aside for 21 days over bribery claims

February 17, 2016 0

From Inside the Games (see below regarding Papa Massata Diack’s arrest

Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangi has asked to step aside for 21 days pending an investigation into allegations he asked for money to reduce the doping bans of two athletes who failed drugs tests, officials said today.

Mwangi stated in a letter to Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei that the claims made by 400 metres runner Joy Sakari and 400m hurdler Francisca Koki Manunga were “unsubstantiated” and “have caused me a lot of mental anguish”.

Sakari and Manunga alleged during an interview with the Associated Press last week that Mwangi asked for a sum of $24,000 (£16,700/€21,500) to reduce their bans.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed to insidethegamesthat the allegations had been passed to their Ethics Commission for further investigation.

The development marked another dark day for Kenyan athletics after IAAF Council member David Okeyo, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat and the Federation’s former treasurer Joseph Kinyua were all suspended in November by the Commission for 180 days following allegations they were involved in corruption linked to Doha’s successful bid for the 2019 World Championships.

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Papa Diack to face authorities in Senegal

Papa Massata Diack, who is accused of corruption and money laundering by investigators of the ongoing athletics scandal, will reportedly be grilled by authorities in his native Senegal.

The son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack is currently wanted by French prosecutors and a “red notice” for his arrest has been issued by Interpol.

Efforts to apprehend him have so far been thwarted by the fact that he is in Senegal, with the African country’s Prime Minister Mahammad Boun Abdallah Dionne refusing to extradite him.

However, Dionne said that Papa Diack did not have the “right to impunity” and reports in Africa now say he has been summoned to appear in front of the Criminal Investigation Division in Senegal’s capital Dakar tomorrow.

Papa Diack, a consultant, was one of three people to be banned for life by the IAAF Ethics Commission in January, which found him guilty of accepting money as part of a blackmail plot to cover up doping cases involving Russian athletes.

Along with former IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletic Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev, previously the Soviet national athletics coach from 1978 to 1984, and long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov, he was charged in relation to payments totalling approximately £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) made by Russia’s marathon runner. Liliya Shobukhova.

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