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Coe gets backing despite report describing 'corruption embedded' in world athletics body

Senior staff at world athletics' governing body must have known about doping taking place within the sport, according to the second part of a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report.

ITV News sports editor Steve Scott reports:

The first report, published in November, accused Russia of state-sponsored doping and led to its athletes being suspended from all events.

Here are some of the report's key revelations and recommendations.

Corruption "embedded" in the IAAF

  • Former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was "responsible for organising and enabling the conspiracy and corruption that took place", it found.
  • It also said Diack, who stepped down last year, appeared to have created a close inner circle which functioned as "an informal illegitimate governance structure" outside the IAAF.
Former IAAF president Lamine Diack was 'responsible for organising the conspiracy and corruption', the report said. Credit: PA
  • Other senior staff "could not have been unaware" that normal procedures were not being followed, it said.
  • "It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged", it went on.

The corruption was embedded in the organisation. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on his own.

– WADA report

Knowledge of Russia doping "wider than had been acknowledged"

  • The institutional knowledge at the IAAF of problems with Russian doping was far wider than has been acknowledged, the report said.
  • The IAAF displayed "no genuine appetite to deal with the problems", it concluded.
  • "Completely improper governance" allowed the supervision of suspected Russian doping cases to be separately managed by the president's personal legal counsel, the commission found.
Russian athletics has been embroiled in the doping scandal Credit: Reuters

Lord Coe best person to lead "reputational recovery"

  • Current IAAF President, Lord Coe, who was a vice-president from 2007 to 2015, was endorsed as the best person to lead change at the body.
IAAF president Lord Seb Coe Credit: Reuters
  • Commission chair Dick Pound said "there is an enormous amount of reputational recovery, and I can think of no one better than Lord Coe to lead that".
  • He also said he did not think that Lord Coe had lied when he denied being aware of the extent of the scandal.
Dick Pound said he did not believe Lord Coe lied about his knowledge of doping.

Lord Coe has promised to clean up athletics as IAAF president and said he will not pass up the chance to effect change.

In an interview with ITV News, Lord Coe denied senior figures at the IAAF knew the full extent of doping by Russian athletes.

Recommendations included:

  • A "forensic examination" of the processes behind the awarding of the 2021 championships to Eugene in the United States.
  • The IAAF reporting to WADA at least twice a year in respect to any difficulties encountered to testing in any country with a national federation.
  • The body is urged to consider the possible benefits of increasing the number of urine samples taken at the time of obtaining blood samples.

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie described the extent of corruption at the IAAF as "hugely disturbing" and called on Lord Coe to take heed of its recommendations.

"This flagrant disregard for the law and anti-doping rules undermines trust amongst clean athletes, and indeed the public, worldwide", he added.

Last week, three IAAF officials received life bans over an alleged doping cover-up.

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