MUNICH – Track and field’s governing body was corrupted from the inside by a “powerful rogue group” led by its president, and they conspired to extort athletes and allow doping Russians to continue competing, a World Anti-Doping Agency probe reported Thursday.
Other IAAF leaders were at fault, too, the WADA panel’s damning report said. They must have known of the nepotism that allowed Lamine Diack to turn the International Association of Athletics Federations into a personal fiefdom during his 16-year reign as president, it said.
“It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged,” said the report, written by former WADA president Dick Pound and presented at a news conference in Munich.
A key question raised by the report is whether alleged corruption under Diack went beyond extorting doped athletes and infected other areas of IAAF business. WADA’s investigators called for a detailed follow-up probe of all world championships awarded by the ruling body for 2009-19, due to evidence they found of possible wrongdoing. That included an indication that Diack, a former IOC member, was prepared to sell his vote in the 2020 Olympic hosting contest won by Tokyo in exchange for sponsorship of IAAF events.
The report made further uncomfortable reading for Sebastian Coe, the British middle-distance running great who took over from Diack in August.