Seb Coe gains approval for IAAF Code of Ethics amendment, leading to confirmation by IAAF Ethics Commission that charges have been brought against four people, including the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Commission has confirmed that Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, is among four people facing disciplinary action following an investigation.

As well as Papa Massata Diack, who was a former consultant to the IAAF, charges are said to have been sent to Gabriel Dolle, the former director of the IAAF’s anti-doping department, plus former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) Valentin Balakhnichev and former chief ARAF coach for long distance walkers and runners Alexei Melnikov for various alleged breaches of the IAAF Code of Ethics.

The IAAF Ethics Commission stated that an investigation is also ongoing in respect of an “additional person”.

A statement by the chairman of the commission, Michael Beloff QC, followed an IAAF announcement confirming an IAAF Code of Ethics amendment which allowed the IAAF Independent Ethics Board to acknowledge the existence of proceedings currently before it. The IAAF advised that president of the sport’s world governing body, Seb Coe (pictured above), had sought approval from the IAAF Council to make the “significant amendment”.

“Up until Friday 6 November 2015, the IAAF Ethics Commission has operated under rules which prevented any disclosure of its activities unless and until any disciplinary proceedings for potential breaches of the IAAF’s Code of Ethics were completed,” read the IAAF Ethics Commission statement in part.

“This has led to an imperfect understanding of the Commission’s role and functions, especially in relation to the allegations concerning the Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova and concealment of her doping violations.”

A hearing is due to take place in London on December 16-18.

“The Ethics Commission stresses that the presumption of innocence applies until such point as a disciplinary case is found proved against any person,” Beloff’s statement continued in part.

The IAAF Ethics Commission statement comes after news this week that Lamine Diack is under investigation by French prosecutors.

On Wednesday the IAAF confirmed that police had visited the IAAF HQ offices to carry out interviews and access documentation.

An independent commission, chaired by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s founding president Dick Pound, was formed after the broadcast of an ARD documentary – ‘Top-secret doping: How Russia makes its winners’ – which was aired in December 2014. On Thursday, WADA confirmed that investigation findings will be delivered at a press conference in Geneva on November 9.

On Friday, when announcing the amendment to the IAAF Code of Ethics, the IAAF also confirmed that this year’s World Athletics Gala, which had been due to take place on November 28, has been cancelled.

“Given the cloud that hangs over our association this is clearly not the time for the global athletics family to be gathering in celebration of our sport,” said Coe. “However we will rightly still honour the outstanding achievements of the sport’s athletes.

“Therefore the Athlete of the Year and other annual honours will still be awarded and will be promoted and announced on the internet and social media.

“The IAAF will seek a suitable occasion in the future for the presentation of these awards to be made to the winners.”