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© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Papa Massata Diack has been banned for life by the IAAF’s ethics commission. Karma, if you will, has caught up to this cavalier, professional swindler and put him in his place; he does retain the right to appeal the decision though.

He is the son of the former and most recent president of the International Association of Athletics Federations – the IAAF – the worldwide governing body of the sport of athletics, Lamine Diack.

The apple has not fallen far from the tree; the scum rose to the top. The criminals in their self-serving greed have effectively worked to kill the sport that they were hired and or appointed to grow. How ironic.

The elder of the two has been implicated and is being investigated and has apparently admitted to seeking bribe money in the millions by extorting for his silence on the matter of positive drug tests.

The man, if we want to call him that, has surrounded himself with other like-minded miscreants. For example, former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé, former Russian federation president and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and the Russian federation’s former chief coach for long-distance athletes Alexei Melnikov are apparently criminals.

The people in positions that athletes, sponsors, national governing bodies, agents, coaches, volunteers and anti-doping organizations like WADA, need to trust the most, the treasurer, the head coach, the anti-doping chief and the almighty chief are all criminals.

Extortion, bribes, cover-ups, blackmail, doping and lies; the IAAF appears to be governed by a two-bit mafia.

Reads like a Bob Dylan song.

All have been banned for life, save for Lamine, who is retired, but should spend the rest of his days behind bars and Dollé who received a five-year ban, but should also spend the rest of his days behind bars.

Balakhnichev and Diack face fines of $25,000 while Melnikov will have to pay $15,000. Papa Massata Diack for example, gets off easy. In one apparent bribe to Doha, Qatar, he supposedly earned over $60,000 in awarding them the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Just know that while you watch the championships – not just the 2019 version – the host city, probably payed Diack or someone at the IAAF, a bribe. Think about that, as you spy the sponsors who support the championships.

There are four primary whistleblowers who have exposed systematic Russian doping: London marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova, 800-metre runner Yuliya Stepanov and Vitaly Stepanov, her husband who worked for the Russian anti-doping agency; the latter two are in hiding. Shobukhova’s husband, Igor also worked for the Russian Anti-doping agency; his testimony was apparently valuable in providing evidence used against them.

Thank goodness for their brave acts to bring to light the crime-ridden governing body.

WADA’s Independent Commission statement reads:

(the above banned administrators): “Far from – as they should have – supporting the anti-doping regime, they subverted it, and, in so doing, allowed LS (Liliya Shobukhova) to compete in two marathons when she should not have done so, to the detriment of her rivals in those races and the integrity of the competition. As to the third, PMD, he had no functional responsibilities in the anti-doping regime but equally no justification at all for subverting it. All three compounded the vice of what they did by conspiring to extort what were in substance bribes from LS by acts of blackmail. They acted dishonestly and corruptly and did unprecedented damage to the sport of track and field which, by their actions, they have brought into serious disrepute.”

Current IAAF President, Lord Sebastian Coe said, “I’d like to thank the independent IAAF ethics board for their diligent and detailed investigation. The life bans announced today could not send a stronger message that those who attempt to corrupt or subvert the sport of athletics will be brought to justice. We continue to work with the French authorities’ investigation and the Wada’s independent commission.”

On January 14, the Ethics Commission will release part two of its two-part investigation findings. Apparently the findings are jaw-dropping.

What is interesting is Lord Coe’s involvement with the IAAF. He is not just the recently elected president; he was also the vice-president for eight years. Additionally, he was part of FIFA’s ethics commission; we know how that turned out.

Coe was appointed to his positions. Who was appointing him? What was their role with the IAAF and FIFA?

How did Coe not know about the vast criminal empire? He must be investigated.

The sport of athletics has continued to slide down the slippery marketing slope for several years, to the point that aside from some European countries and when the Olympic Games happen, it is a niche sport that few people watch or follow. The apparent mismanagement has had to contribute to the sport’s demise.

The IAAF needs to be dismantled and rebuilt anew, streamline with a more flat management style. Until the IAAF is rebuilt and managed in an ethical manner, the world’s oldest sport will continue to become irrelevant. One day, there will be nothing to manage.

Perhaps January 14th will provide the exposure and hence the muscle needed to rebuild the grand old sport.


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