Independent chair Rune Andersen to be joined by IAAF Council members Abby Hoffman, Anna Riccardi, Frank Fredericks and Geoff Gardner
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council members Abby Hoffman, Anna Riccardi, Frank Fredericks and Geoff Gardner are to join anti-doping expert Rune Andersen on an inspection team to assess the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), the IAAF has announced.
The inspection team will work to verify the reforms programme in Russia to enable the ARAF to gain reacceptance for IAAF membership after it was provisionally suspended as an IAAF member on Friday.
IAAF Council members voted 22-1 in favour of Russia being provisionally suspended, with the Council meeting coming after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report published last week detailed findings including a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics.
The Independent Commission, which is chaired by WADA’s founding president Dick Pound, was formed after the broadcast of an ARD documentary – ‘Top-secret doping: How Russia makes its winners’ – in December 2014.
“After consultation with WADA, we will set the verification criteria,” said IAAF president Seb Coe. “The five-person inspection team, led by a renowned anti-doping expert Rune Andersen, has an extraordinary amount of experience to ensure ARAF meets the criteria and is eligible to once again enter athletes into international competition.”
Prior to joining WADA in 2002, Andersen served as head of the Department for Ethics, Sports Medicine and Anti-Doping at the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports and was member of the monitoring group for the Council of Europe’s Anti-Doping Convention.
Hoffman is a Senior Executive in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Canada and has been the co-ordinator of the IAAF Anti-doping Task Force since 2004, while Riccardi is a Technical Delegate for the Rio Olympic Games and is CONI’s (Italian NOC) Head of Team Services Sport and Olympic Programme Area.
Fredericks is an IOC Member, Chairman of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission and a former Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Gardner is President of the Oceania Athletics Association and formerly Chief Minister, Speaker and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.
“I’m honoured to have been asked by Sebastian Coe to head the verification process,” said Andersen. “I have devoted my life to clean sport and it’s on behalf of the innocent athletes who are Russia’s athletics future that we begin our task to ensure that fair and honest competition is guaranteed.”