© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Part two of WADA’s Independent Commission report was released January 14th near Munich. The IC panel of three includes Dick Pound, the originating president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), fellow Canadian Lawyer and sports arbitration expert Richard McLaren and German cyber investigator Günter Younger.

The fallout over the past year was not started by the nearly 40-million dollar per year (funded) World Anti-Doping Agency or the IAAF or the International Olympic Committee, but the media and specifically ARD TV. Meanwhile, this was in-effect a press conference.

Part one was released on November 9, 2015 and it was a bomb drop for the sport of athletics, confirming that Russia was rotten to the core with systematic doping, cover-ups, bribery and extortion, starting with the All Russian Athletics Federation, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and right down to the athletes. They told us in not so many words, Russian athletics is sickly; a festering, diseased cancer.

During the release of part one, the IC recommended to the IAAF to suspend Russia until they clean up their act. It happened, and over the past year several ARAF, RADA as well as IAAF admin have stepped down or have been arrested or are being investigated including the former IAAF president and his son, Lamine Diack and Papa Massata Diack:

Valentin Balakhnichev – ARAF President
Viktor Chegin – Russian Head Coach, Racewalking
Valentin Maslakov – ARAF Head Coach
Lamine Diack – IAAF former President
Papa Massata Diack  – IAAF – Marketing
Dr. Gabriel Dolle  – IAAF – Head of anti-doping
Nick Davies – IAAF – General Secretary

There were others. Also, see list below of most of the Russian athletes that are currently serving doping suspensions in addition to the national team ban.

For part two, Pound, the straight talking, no-nonsense tough guy promised a report that will have a wow factor to it. He said this after he released the wow-factured part one, so anticipation was high. He talked tough, for example he said, “We’re not there to whitewash anything. We’re there to get the facts, reach conclusions and make recommendations.” Which he did, but not with very much vigor or scorn as he, quote-unquote alluded to leading up to the fateful date.

According to the Associated Press, during a phone interview Pound said, “If all these things are true, it’s extremely serious for sport, for athletics, for the countries involved.”

The AFP two days ago wrote, “The scandal gripping athletics promises to worsen with publication on Thursday of a second explosive report targeting corrupt “scumbags” and a leaked blood database that could have worldwide ramifications for track and field.”

Pound was again quoted, this time he said, “People will say: ‘How on earth could this happen?’ It’s a complete betrayal of what the people in charge of the sport should be doing.”

The Independent wrote, “The chief investigator behind the World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission’s second report to be published today has labelled the level of corruption involved as “unbelievable”.”

Coe was accused of not doing enough as recently as January 8th and Pound said that Coe and Sergei Bubka should have done more.

Pound made references to “someone’s tits getting caught in the wringer”.

Everyone was expecting a damning report with new findings.

After watching the stream of the IC’s second of two reports on January 14th I assume that there was a global let-down. What happened to the tough-talking man, who suffers no fools, lawyer and former international athlete, the hater of dopers?

Who declawed the tiger?

Pound was a different man on January 14th. I assume that someone got to him.

One unnamed person who is a respected doping expert told me, “I agree, Pound seemed not to feel very happy in his role as mortician of global athletics. He was evasive in some points and was apparently not well informed about details of the blood database.”

One former Head Coach said, “Sorry, I don’t buy it, that Coe didn’t know what was going on…

…and he only gave up his Nike stipend because of increasing public awareness and pressure…

… And what happened to Mr. Pound in the last couple of months? This is not the “Wow” he promised to deliver, not so long ago. What happened in the interim?”

I don’t know what happened in the interim, but it appears that someone got to Pound between the two halves of the report being published.

However, during the press conference, Pound did further implicate the IAAF as well as ARAF.

McLaren recommended for further, forensic research into the organised or systematic corruption of Russia and certain personalities who worked for the IAAF, primarily the Diacks.

Some of the wow factor in the IC’s report was in the specifics of already known crimes, such as the IAAF and ARAF extorting Russian athlete Lilya Shubukhova in return for €450,000, as well as the bribery in awarding games to host cities, such as Doha, Qatar, who won the right to host the 2019 IAAF world championships.

McLaren read first saying that he believes that they may have only investigated the tip of the iceberg to do with cover-ups and extortion to do with Russian and Turkish athletes.

The IAAF was apparently reluctant in recognising the issue. “The IAAF displayed no genuine appetite to deal with issues,” said Pound.

One interesting comment by Pound was when he said that the IAAF is no longer at odds with WADA. Apparently there was friction between WADA and the IAAF with over 100 doping cases in 2013 alone. Clearly the infrastructure was inadequate at the time to deal with the volume of cases.

Dick Pound said of Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, in regards to repairing considerable reputational damage, “I can’t think of anyone better to lead the IAAF.”

January 8th was less than a week ago; what an attitudinal turnaround.

Pound was asked about Putin and Diack again and the sudden increase from $6-million to $25-million for the Russian rights to televise the 2013 world championships, which was provided by a Russian bank. “Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. That’s for further investigation.”

This report was part two of two.

The commission confirmed that blood values prior to 2009 cannot be acted upon.

Pound said that the IAAF council must have known about the corruption that was going on, “they must have known,” however, Coe was on the council and served as vice-president. When asked if that was not perhaps a contradiction he replied, “I do not want to lay the failures of an entire council and the lack of a proper governance process at the feet of one individual.”

Regardless, how did he not know? The question remained answered.

Pound did point his finger to the IAAF congress for electing Lamine Diack four times as president of the IAAF, essentially calling the structure of the IAAF full of nepotism. It is a salient point that is quite damning.

Some of the report seemed to be delivered under the efforts of not bringing the sport any further into disrepute; to ‘not bringing down the entire sport’. Pound had said that on at least two occasions during the press conference.

Pound said that he cannot think of anyone better to run the IAAF (than Coe). At first blush this sounds contradictory and is to some degree, based on him being a part of the congress; however, Coe is the devil we know (we think) and certainly, if the congress “had to know” of corruption, then no one else qualifies anyway. Coe’s experience with the 2012 London Olympics, vice-precedency of WADA and as a member of the FIFA Ethics Commission certainly gives him worldly experience.

Coe has nowhere to go at this point. If a single corruptive action happens under his watch, it will be on him as much as the perpetrator.

It appears that the IC’s work is finished, meanwhile the rest of the world would like to know what is going on in countries that perform well, but do not have out of competition testing like Ethiopia as well as Kenya, who have been proven to have a doping issues, and Morocco, Jamaica and Turkey, to name a few.

Last week the French Press asked that anyone in the world that has been extorted against for covering up a positive doping cases or for any other corruption that may have gone on, to contact them. Perhaps it is the media that will have to move the needle on these other countries that athletics fans are concerned about.

Furthermore, Russia’s return to athletics before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – and I smell a rat here – will be “bad optics” for the sport; it would be too soon. The sporting world waits with bated breath for the pressure from Russia on the IAAF. For marketing purposes, It better not happen.

List of currently suspended Russian athletes:

Denis Alekseyev                 Sprinting              Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone

Yuriy Andronov                 Race walking      Trimetazidine

Anna Avdeyeva                  Shot put               Oral Turinabol (anabolic steroid)

Svetlana Biryukova          Race walking      Biological passport anomalies

Valeriy Borchin                 Long jump           SARMs

Lada Chernova                  Javelin throw     Metenolone Bromantane

Yelena Churakova             Hurdling               Methandienone & Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone

Tatyana Dektyareva         Hurdling               Ostarine

Olga Golovkina                 Long distance running    Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone

Vladimir Kanaykin            Race walking      EPO, Biological passport issues

Valentin Kruglyakov        Sprinting              Nandrolone

Elena Lashmanova           Race walking      GW1516

Ekaterina Medvedeva      Race walking      EPO

Sergey Morozov                Race walking      EPO, Biological passport issues

Yevgeniya Pecherina        Discus throw      Methandienone, Oral Turinabol

Darya Pishchalnikova       Discus throw      Fraudulent substitution of urine, Oxandrolone

Natalya Shekhodanova     Hurdling             Stanazolol, twice

Igor Vinichenko                 Hammer throw  Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone

Mariya Yakovenko            Javelin throw     Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone

Igor Yerokhin                     Race walking      EPO, Biological passport issues

Irina Yumanova                 Race walking      SARMs