The chairman of UK Athletics insists London has nothing to hide over its successful bid for the 2017 world championships and has promised to provide all emails, documents and phone records to investigators.
French police and the IAAF are investigating the bidding processes involved in seven world championships since 2009, including the 2017 event which is to be hosted by London after it beat Doha in the vote.
UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has welcomed news of the investigations and said all documents plus computer and phone records connected to London’s bid would be made available to investigators.
He said: “All I know is that London’s bid was completely by the book and through the front door in a classically British way. We have nothing to hide and we would be delighted to spend any amount of time going through our processes with the investigators if that helps root out any miscreants.”
Asked if he would be prepared to make all emails and documents available, he said: “Absolutely.” He added: “It’s right that these things are fair battles and the right city wins for the good of the sport and nothing more. There has been a very unhealthy smell at FIFA with some of football’s World Cup bids and now it appears there may be some of that stench with some IAAF world championships – and that is very unpleasant.”
The investigation is expected to focus on any involvement of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who was succeeded by Lord Coe in August, and his son Papa Massata Diack – who was employed by the IAAF as a marketing consultant.
WADA independent commission stated on Thursday that Diack junior “held a contract to exploit marketing opportunities in emerging markets” including Brazil, Russia, India, China, UAE, Qatar, South Korea, Mexico, Africa and the Caribbean.
Investigators are likely to probe any links between the Diacks and bidding cities from those countries – Daegu in Korea hosted 2011, Moscow 2013, Beijing 2015 and Doha are to be 2019 hosts after losing out to London for 2017.
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.