Albanian long jumper Izmir Smajlaj, Albanian track federation president Gjegj Ruli, and its general secretary Nikolin Dionisi are accused of submitting false information for Smajlaj to gain entry to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The trio may face bans.
The Athletics Integrity Unit on Friday said it had charged Smajlaj, Ruli, and Dionisi with disciplinary offenses over a competition held in Albania in May 2021, which took place two months before the Tokyo Olympics. All are provisionally suspended until the case is reviewed.
The AIU has charged the Albanian Athletics Federation’s President, Gjegj Ruli; its General Secretary, Nikolin Dionisi; and an athlete, Izmir Smajlaj, for alleged breaches of the World Athletics’ Integrity Code of Conduct. pic.twitter.com/qB6CotmbTR— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) December 9, 2022
Smajlaj at the national trials allegedly set an Albanian record with an 8.16 metre jump.
“It is alleged that false information was submitted to World Athletics and the AIU in support of this competition result,” the AIU said in its announcement.
“The AIU’s mandate is to ensure clean and fair competition, and to hold anyone who may have breached the Integrity Code of Conduct accountable for their actions, including high-ranking officials,” Clothier said in a statement.
“Competition manipulation is a serious threat to the integrity of athletics and the AIU is committed to protecting our sport from it.”
Smajlaj’s performance was not good enough to qualify for the Olympics. However, he received his spot under the universality rule, which allows countries to send one male or female athlete from each country to compete in track events.
In the long jump competition at the Tokyo Olympics, Smajlaj jumped 7.86 meters and did not qualify for the final.