Board suspends three athletics officials over payoff allegations
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[June 10, 2016]
By Mitch Phillips
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - Three
senior athletics officials have been provisionally suspended by the
IAAF's Ethics Board pending an investigation into their alleged
involvement in a suspected cover-up of Russian doping cases, the
sport's governing body said on Friday.
Nick Davies, who was chief-of-staff to International Association
of Athletics Federations President Seb Coe, was suspended along with
his wife Jane Boulter-Davies and IAAF medical manager Pierre-Yves
Davies stood down from his role six months ago pending the
investigation into a "potential breach of the IAAF's code of
ethics", and at the time denied any wrongdoing.
Davies, his wife, an IAAF education official, and Garnier did not
immediately respond to email requests for comment. The IAAF said it
had not received a response to the suspensions from any of the trio.
The Ethics Board said the suspensions had been imposed to protect
the integrity of the sport "but do not prejudice the outcome of the
It said the case related to an email reportedly sent by former IAAF
consultant Papa Massata Diack to his father and then-IAAF president
Lamine Diack in July 2013. The email, reported by the French daily
Le Monde, allegedly showed that the three were in receipt of, or had
knowledge of, a cash payment to withhold details of attempted
cover-ups of Russian doping cases.
Other emails leaked by Le Monde showed Davies had discussed with
Papa Diack developing a media strategy to limit the news impact of a
series of positive tests by Russian athletes ahead of 2013 the
Moscow world athletics championships.
Davies said that the mail was merely "brainstorming for a media
strategy" and that he had done nothing wrong.
Papa Diack has denied any involvement in bribery or corruption and
says his father Lamine is also innocent. French authorities are
investigating the elder Diack, who Coe replaced as IAAF president in
August, on charges of corruption and money laundering.
"CASE TO ANSWER"
IAAF Ethics Board Chairman Michael Beloff said Friday's suspensions
were decided after the board determined that there was a prima facie
case to answer that warranted investigation.
The Ethics Board statement said Davies, a former IAAF general
secretary and head of communications, received an undisclosed cash
payment in 2013 from Papa Massata Diack, "the circumstances and
concealment of which call into question whether the payment was
intended to have and/or in fact produced any manipulative effect."
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The logo of the International Association of Athletics Federations
(IAAF) is seen in Monaco, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Boulter-Davies allegedly received, or knew about, a payment to
Davies. Garnier allegedly received an undisclosed cash payment at
the direction of Lamine Diack and "retained some part of the sum
even when aware of its apparent impropriety".
The Ethics Board is also investigating whether Davies and
Boulter-Davies misled the Board during its previous investigation
into the matter.
Reuters emailed all three IAAF staffers seeking comment on the
suspensions and the allegations contained in the Ethics Board
statement but did not immediately receive a response.
In December, Davies stepped aside from his role with Coe in a move
he said aimed to demonstrate his willingness to have all allegations
of unethical behavior by him properly and fairly investigated.
He said he had referred to the IAAF Ethics Board all of his 2013
emails to Papa Massata Diack, his statements and the circumstances
of the emails.
In a separate statement, the world athletics body said the suspended
trio would enjoy "the presumption of innocence until the outcome of
the investigation and the determination of disciplinary charges, if
any, brought against them".
Russia is currently banned from all athletics following revelations
of widespread state-sponsored doping and next Friday the IAAF
Council meets in Vienna to decide whether to lift that ban and allow
its track and field athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics in
(Editing by Martyn Herman and Jon Boyle)
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