Lord Coe is facing renewed pressure on his position as IAAF president after a new report ruled that the IAAF Council and his right-hand man Nick Davies must have been aware of the scale of doping in athletics.
The second report compiled by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency into the Russian doping scandal said the IAAF Council – which included Coe at the time – “could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics”.
It adds that Davies, who stepped aside from his position as IAAF chief of staff last month, was “well aware of Russian ‘skeletons’ in the cupboard”.
The report, announced at a news conference in Munich, states: ” The IAAF Council could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules.
“There was an evident lack of political appetite within the IAAF to confront Russia with the full extent of its known and suspected doping activities.”
An unprecedented number of former winners will start the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon after reigning champion
and 2014 winner Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa confirmed their participation in the world’s richest marathon on January 22.
The announcement takes the number of athletes in the starting line-up who have won in Dubai to six with Berhanu and Mekonnen joining 2012 champion and course record holder Ayele Abshero in the men’s field.
In the women’s event, the hugely- talented line-up will be led by former winners Mulu Seboka (2014), Tirfi Tsegaye (2013) and Mamitu Daska (2010). Ethiopians Berhanu and Mekonnen will bring even more star quality to the race after both won in fantastic style on their official Dubai debuts.
Competing in only his second marathon, Berhanu destroyed a more experienced field to win last year in 2:05:28, smash his personal best by five minutes, while Mekonnen’s 2014 win was even more sensational.
The then 18-year-old set an unofficial world junior record in 2:04:32 in what was his first official marathon despite having run as a pacemaker in the 2013 race.
“The appearance of six former champions from Ethiopia underlines just how important Dubai rates in the racing calendar for the long distance elite runners,” said Standard Chartered Event Director Peter Connerton.
“The men and women know with perfect weather and a flat course there are very fast times to be had in Dubai.”
As expected, the competition for places in Ethiopia’s Olympic squad for Rio 2016 will be fierce. And with all six former champions hailing from the African hotbed of distance running, the athletics spotlight will be on Dubai when around 30,000 runners gather in the emirate.
For 20-year old Mekonnen it means a return to a city that turned his world around. “The win in Dubai changed my life,” he said.
“I was able to buy a house in Addis Ababa, I bought a car to be able to go to the training venues and I stopped school to concentrate fully on running. It is a completely different life for me now.”
Runners looking to compete in the Marathon, the 10km Road Race or the 4km Fun Run can still do so online through the official website www.dubaimarathon.org.
Three senior IAAF officials have been banned for life for blackmailing athletes and covering up positive drugs tests.
Papa Massata Diack, the son of the then IAAF president Lamine Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev, former Russian athletic federation (ARAF) president and IAAF treasurer Alexei Melnikov, a senior ARAF coach, have all been handed lifetime bans.
Gabriel Dolle, who was the IAAF's anti-doping director, has been given a five-year ban for his part in the doping scandal which has rocked world athletics.
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– Dubai Marathon: Abshero returns for 1st time since 2012
The findings by the IAAF's ethics commission lay bare the corruption involving the senior figures in athletics, with the trio found to have blackmailed Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, London marathon winner in 2010, and made her pay a bribe for a positive drugs test to be covered up.
Lamine Diack, who was succeeded as president by Lord Coe in August, is himself under investigation by French police on suspicion of taking more than one million euros (£746,000) to cover up positive tests.
The ethics commission's findings state: "The head of a national federation, the senior coach of a major national team and a marketing consultant for the IAAF conspired together (and, it may yet be proven with others too) to conceal for more than three years anti-doping violations by an athlete at what appeared to be the highest pinnacle of her sport.
"All three compounded the vice of what they did by conspiring to extort what were in substance bribes from Liliya Shobukhova 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."