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IAAF issues statement in response to “grave allegations”

IAAF issues statement in response to “grave allegations”

Governing body says independent IAAF Ethics Commission is investigating after allegations made about corruption and systematic doping in Russia

The International Association of Athletics Federations has released a statement following the broadcast of a German documentary in which Russia was accused of corruption and systematic doping.

It states that the IAAF has noted “a number of grave allegations” regarding doping activities related to athletics in Russia.

The documentary, aired by German television channel ARD on Wednesday, also included allegations about marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova (pictured above), who is reported to have paid 450,000 euros to the Russian athletics federation to avoid a doping ban ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Olympic 800m champion Mariya Savinova, who is alleged to have admitted to doping.

Shobukhova was handed a two-year ban in April following abnormalities detected in her biological passport. Her results from October 9, 2009, were set to be annulled, which would mean the loss of her 2010 London Marathon title, as well as Chicago Marathon titles from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

According to an ARD press release about the documentary (which can be viewed in English here, via the Chicago Tribune), Shobukhova “bought herself the right” to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games after suspicious blood levels from 2009 to 2011. The release states that Shobukhova and her husband, Igor Shobukhov, demanded the return of the money paid, with 300,000 euros said to have been returned to them.

Russia’s athletics federation president Valentin Balakhnichev has said the Germany documentary contains “a pack of lies”, according to Reuters.

The IAAF statement read: “The IAAF has noted a number of grave allegations regarding doping activities related to the sport of athletics in Russia, which have been broadcast on the German TV channel ZDF/ARD on 3 December 2014.

“An investigation by the IAAF Ethics Commission is already ongoing with respect to some of the allegations made in the documentary.

“We would like to underline that the IAAF Ethics Commission is completely independent of the IAAF and has full powers to investigate and issue sanctions when relevant.

“A transcript in English of the German TV documentary has been forwarded to the Ethics Commission.

“With regard to matters revealed in the documentary related to anti-doping and, therefore outside the scope of the Ethics Commission, these will be studied carefully and dealt with according to the relevant IAAF rules and in full co-operation with WADA.

“For more information about the IAAF Independent Ethics Commission please go to: http://www.iaaf.org/about-iaaf/documents/rules-regulations

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