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IAAF Accused of Cover-up in Parliamentary Inquiry on Russian Doping Scandal

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was accused of trying to distance itself from the doping scandal that rocked the Russian Olympics program.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe was said to be at the center of the alleged cover-up as he seems to be evasive on questions about his knowledge on doping, particularly in track and field, before the story blew up in the media.

The report said that Coe “sought to distance himself from any knowledge of the allegations of doping in Russian athletics before the details were exposed in the German documentary.”

Coe was the vice president of the international track and field federation before stepping down in 2015 when he assumed the leadership of the IAFF.

Accordingly, Coe was informed by London Marathon director Dave Bedford as early as August 2014 that Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova was blackmailed for money so the positive results on her drug test would be buried.

However, Coe told the lawmakers that he only forwarded the letter to the IAAF ethics committee, and he didn’t read the contents.

But the report claimed that the allegations by Coe “were misleading.” While he may not have opened the attachments, it stretches credulity that he wasn’t aware of the doping allegations that he wants the ethics committee to investigate.

While the committee report praised Bedford for trying to do the right thing, it expressed its disappointment that Coe didn’t investigate further despite the seriousness of the issue.

The committee said that there’s a bigger stake in the need to act on information that may stain the integrity of competition.

“The Shobukhova case raises concerns about whether national or international sports federations are capable of investigating themselves when the allegations involve senior figures within the organization itself,” the report said. “There is a real danger that internal politics inevitably play a part in the process.”